Interpreting Neonatal Growth Parameters in Oman: Are we doing it right?

Reem M. Abdulrahim, Ahmed B. Idris, Asad Ur-Rahman, Mohamed Abdellatif, Nigel Fuller


Objectives: This study aimed to compare reference anthropometric measures of Omani neonates with the international standard growth charts of the World Health Organization (WHO) in order to determine the appropriateness of these growth charts to assess the growth of Omani neonates. Methods: This cross-sectional study included all healthy full-term Omani neonates born between November 2014 and November 2015 at the Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Muscat, Oman. Birth weight, length and head circumference measurements
were identified and compared to those of the 2006 WHO growth charts. Results: A total of 2,766 full-term neonates were included in the study, of which 1,401 (50.7%) were male and 1,365 (49.3%) were female. Mean birth weights
for Omani males and females were 3.16 ± 0.39 kg and 3.06 ± 0.38 kg, respectively; these were significantly lower than the WHO standard measurements (P <0.001). Similarly, the mean head circumferences of Omani males and females (33.8 ± 1.27 cm and 33.3 ± 1.26 cm, respectively) were significantly lower than those reported in the WHO growth charts (P <0.001). In contrast, mean lengths for Omani males and females (52.0 ± 2.62 cm and 51.4 ± 2.64 cm, respectively) were significantly higher than the WHO standard measurements (P <0.001). Conclusion: The WHO growth charts might not be appropriate for use with Omani neonates; possible alternatives should therefore
be considered, such as national growth charts based on local data.


Anthropometry; Growth Charts; Neonates; World Health Organization; Oman.

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

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