Introduction: In developed countries a secular trend in growth has been reported. Our aim was to evaluate weight, height and body mass index (BMI) values in a Spanish population coming from Andalusia, Barcelona, Bilbao and Zaragoza, and to compare these values with those obtained before 1988 (BIB 88 and CAT 87 studies). Subjects and methods: Cross-sectional evaluation of height, weight and BMI in 32,064 subjects (16,607 males and 15,457 females) from birth to adulthood between the years 2000 and 2004. Three subpopulations were evaluated: a) 5,796 (2,974 males, 2,822 females) newborns at term from normal gestations; b) 23,701 (12,358 males; 11,343 females) children and adolescents 0.25-18 years old, and c) 2,567 (1,275 males, 1,292 females) young adults 18.1-24 years of age. All were healthy caucasians, and their parents from Spanish origin. The LSM method was used. Results: Mean, standard deviation, Skewness index and percentiles values with a 0.25-0.5 year-period intervals from birth to adulthood are reported. As regards the data obtained previously in Spanish populations, an increase of 1.8 cm, 1.4 cm and 3.3 cm were observed in adult height for percetiles 3, 50 and 97 in males respect to BIB 88 and 2.5 cm, 3.3 cm and 3.8 respect to CAT 87. In females these values were 3.5 cm, 2.5 cm and 4.2 cm respect to BIB 88 and 3.5 cm, 3.1 cm and 3.9 cm respect to CAT 87. The corresponding values for weight, in males, were increased in 5.4 kg, 6.2 kg and 11.7 kg respect to BIB 88 and 6.7 kg, 6.3 kg and 10.1 kg respect to CAT 87; in females these increased were 1.7 kg, 2,2 kg and 8.3 kg respect to BIB 88 and 1.8 kg, 2.4 kg and 3.6 kg respect to CAT 87. The corresponding increased for BMI values, in males, were 2.0, 1.4 and 3.9 respect to BIB 88 and -0.1, -0.2 and 5.3 respect to CAT 87; in females these values were 0.9, 0.4 and 3.7 respect to BIB 88 and -1.8, -0.1 and 4 respect to CAT 87. In young adults, 25 and 30 BMI values correspond to percentiles 80 and 97 in males, and 85 and 97 in females. Mean values of adult height were similar to those observed in other longitudinal and cross-sectional Spanish, European, and American studies, but lower than those reported for German, Swedish and Netherlands populations. Conclusions: A secular trend of growth was observed in our population with a non-proportional increased of weight to height ratio (BMI) values, particularly for those corresponding to the 97 percentile. The need of periodical updates of growth data used in the evaluation of children and adolescents is required.
- Body mass index
- Secular trend in growth