Body Mass Index and Height Growth Curves are influenced by Sexual Maturation Status in Brazil: Cross-Sectional Study
Background: To describe and analyze growth curves of body mass index (BMI) and height according to sexual maturation status in children and adolescents aged 8-14 years old in the city of Florianopolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil. Methods: Cross-sectional study conducted in 2007 with a random sample of 2,339 students from public and private elementary school. Excess weight was determined by BMI curves of the World Health Organization according to sex and age. Sexual maturation was self-assessed and classified according to Tanner stages of sexual development. Tertiles of age in each sexual maturation stage were used to classify individuals in early, normal or late sexual maturation. Growth curves of BMI and height were estimated using median values for each sex, using six degree polynomial to smooth the curve. Results: We observed different growth curves of BMI and height according to sexual maturation status for both boys and girls. Early sexual maturation is associated with increased BMI z score to boys until 11 years of age and to girls in all groups age, and with increased height z score to boys in all age groups and in girls of 9 -12.5 years of age. Late sexual maturation is associated with lower values of BMI Z score in boys between 10 to 12 years of age and slower evolution of BMI Z score in girls. Conclusion: The sexual maturation seems to affect directly the evolution of BMI and height and should be considered in the assessment of nutritional status during childhood.
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