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Title: The growth of Bradford infants
Author: Johnson, William O.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2689 9149
Awarding Body: Loughborough University
Current Institution: Loughborough University
Date of Award: 2010
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Infant growth is a key indicator of health and a relevant component of paediatric surveillance. Certain growth characteristics are also associated with greater risk for diseases such as obesity and cardiovascular disease. South Asian populations are known to demonstrate poor infant growth and suffer from a high prevalence of non-communicable disease. Relatively little is known about the growth of Pakistani infants, especially following migration. In the United kingdom (UK), infant growth is routinely monitored to detect poor health, and this process produces a repository of largely unutilised data. In 2009, new growth charts, which include a component of the World Health Organisation (WHO) growth standards, were introduced to routine practice. The adoption of prescriptive standards, which are based on breastfed infants living in an unconstrained environment, will have implications for the assessment of growth. To develop and assess the quality of routine growth monitoring data collected in Bradford, UK, so that it can be used to describe the differences in growth between White British and Pakistani infants in the same city. To investigate the factors that influence this growth. To assess the implications of adopting growth standards for practice. The frequency of routine growth monitoring data that are collected at prescribed age periods was assessed. Test-retest growth data were collected from 192 practitioners, and technical error of measurements were calculated. Data on 2464 (boys 51%, White British 45%) infants were submitted to multilevel modelling analysis to produce sex and ethnic specific weight-for-age, abdominal circumference-for-age, head circumference-for-age, and length-for-age growth curves between birth and nine months. Multivariable linear regression models were used to investigate factors that influence size at birth and at nine months. Growth curves were plotted against the WHO standards and the UK 1990 references, Z-scores were calculated, and the relative risks (RR) of underweight, obesity, and poor infant weight gain using the standards compared to the references were assessed. During each prescribed age period for routine growth monitoring generally only 30% to 35% of measurements were recorded. None of the technical error of measurements were excessively large, and coefficients of reliability ranged from 0.96 to 1.00. Multilevel models explained that Pakistani infants were smaller than White British infants, in the first nine months of life, for weight (-210.3g to -321.7g), abdominal circumference (-1.15cm to -0.39cm), head circumference (-0.59cm), and length (-0.32cm). Compared to the WHO standards, infants demonstrated dissimilar weight growth, but similar head circumference and length growth. The common weight growth pattern was slow growth between birth and two months, followed by rapid growth. Using the standards, infants were significantly less likely to be classified as underweight (RR at birth 0.496; 95% Confidence Interval 0.363 to 0.678) and demonstrating poor weight gain from birth to nine months (0.783; 0.644 to 0.952). Growth monitoring data are not collected at prescribed age periods, but following initial training of practitioners are reliable. Integrating research with practice has developed routine data to research calibre and has established protocols to make data more accessible. Pakistani infants were consistently smaller than White British infants, and, despite efforts, the determinants of this phenomenon have not yet been fully elucidated. Growth in weight of infants in Bradford differs significantly from that represented by the WHO standards, and without adequate training of practitioners infant growth may be incorrectly interpreted.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Infant growth ; Pakistani ; Growth monitoring ; Routine data ; Growth standards ; Developmental origins of adult disease