Anthropometric Standards for Libyan Children Aged 6 to 17 Years

Abounaja, Sadik Sadik (1986) Anthropometric Standards for Libyan Children Aged 6 to 17 Years. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The physical growth and development of children is well known as a sensitive index of the health and nutrition of a population. Information on growth and development of children is increasingly used in developing countries for assessing and improving their health standards. Satisfactory growth standards are available for many developed countries and for some developing countries. In Libya at present the standards in use for school-age children are those of Tanner, based on a sample of English school children in 1966. There have been two small studies based on Libyan children and the growth standards in current use for pre-school children are based on one of these. There is however, a need for standards for school age children based on a large local sample. This study describes the design and conduct of two surveys and the results obtained from them. The first is a cross-sectional growth survey of 8566 Libyan school children, aged 6-17 years, carried out from September 1983 to February 1984 in Tripoli to determine distance growth standards. The second is a follow-up survey after an interval of about one year to construct velocity standards for growth. In the first survey, eight anthropometric measurements were recorded: height and weight, biceps, triceps, subscapular and suprailiac skinfolds, arm and calf circumferences. The measurements were taken for every child by trained observers using regularly tested and calibrated standard equipment and standardised techniques. Also recorded were date of birth, age at menarche, race and twelve socio-economic variables which were family size, total number of children, number of live children, birth order, father's and mother's education, father's and mother's occupation, house type, number of bedrooms and father's and mother's income. This information was obtained from a form completed by parents. The results of the cross-sectional study in 1983 showed that: (i) There are differences between the English standards which are currently in use in Libya and the results of this study for all of the anthropometric variables studied. For example, for height the English boys and girls are rather taller than Libyan boys and girls by about 7.0 cm. at age 17 years. For weight the situation is different: For boys there is little difference between the Libyan and English 97tti percentile throughout the whole range. However, the English 3rd and 50th percentiles exceed the Libyan 3rd and 50th percentiles, the difference reaching about 6 kg by age 16 years. For girls, the English 3rd and 50th percentiles of weight are slightly higher than the Libyan 3rd and 50th percentiles while the Libyan 97th percentile is higher than the English 97th percentile for girls over 13 years. (ii) When the skinfold thickness from the present study was compared with those obtained in an earlier study of Libyan boys in 1957, there is a very large significant difference in the distribution of skinfold thickness between the 1957 and 1983 studies. This confirms the improvement in the nutrition, health, education and income levels in Libya during this period of time. (iii) The distribution of height and weight of Libyan children aged 6 to 17 years are similar to those for the neighbouring Arabic countries of Egypt and Tunisia. For calculating the percentiles of variables which do not follow Gaussian distribution, logarithmic trnasformation of the form log (variable-constant) was used to produce approximately a Gaussian distribution in each age-sex subgroup. The method of profile likelihood is used in estimating the value of the constant for each variable by age and sex, and therefore for choosing the best constant to use in transformation.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Adviser: H Gilmour
Keywords: Biostatistics, Public health
Date of Award: 1986
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1986-76424
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2019 14:31
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2019 14:31

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