During the past three decades, growth charts have become one of the principal tools for monitoring anthropometric development in individuals and populations as well. Growth references by the CDC and other countries have been widely used in our hospitals and healthcare units for clinical assessment of children’s development. The apparent overestimation and underestimation of many children’s anthropometrics indicated the need to construct our own references. The objective of this study is to establish the national growth references for the Syrian population 2-20-year-old.
A multicenter cross-sectional sample of 13,548 subjects, aged 2-20 years, were recruited from various kindergartens, schools, and universities across the Syrian Arab Republic between February and May-2019. Response variables (stature, weight, and BMI) were fitted against age using P-splines and three empirical distributions: Box-Cox T, Box-Cox Power Exponential, and Box-Cox Cole and Green. Residuals diagnostic Q-tests and worm plots were used to check the validity of fitted models.
Box-Cox T provided the best fit for stature-for-age, whereas Box-Cox Power Exponential provided the best fit for weight-for-age and BMI-for-age. Residuals diagnostics revealed adequate models fitting. BMI cutoffs revealed an increased prevalence of obesity (4.5% and 3.66%) and overweight (20.1% and 19.54%), for boys and girls respectively, in our population.
Growth charts are available for use now in our hospitals and healthcare units. For 0-2-year-old children, we recommend using the World Health Organization’s standards.

© 2022. The Author(s).