CORRELATION BETWEEN CHILDREN’S WEIGHT AND HEIGHT AT MEDICAL EXAMINATION ON ENROLLING IN 1st CLASS OF PRIMARY SCHOOL AND BIRTH GROWTH PARAMETERS WITH PARENTAL HEIGHTS
Summary. Physical growth is permanently influenced by genetic and environmental factors. Their impacts are overlapping, and therefore it is difficult to separate the contribution particularly ascribable to one or another kind of the factors. The study investigated the relation between body weight and height in 397 children (195 girls and 202 boys) enrolling primary school and their birth growth features on the one side, and their parents’ heights on the other. The correlations between children’s weight and height on enrolling primary school and their birth growth features were also studied. The aim was to examine the proportion of genetic determinacy of children’s growth. Mean birth weight and length were 3440±413 g and 50.50±2.00 cm, respectively, and mean head circumference was 34.50±1.20 cm. On entering the primary school, the children were 6.70±0.30 years of age in average, and had mean body weight and height of 24.60±5.00 kg and 122.70±6.15 cm, respec- tively. Majority of children had both parents with middle or low education level, 285 (71.79%) of them. Majority of children also had both parents employed. 266 (67.00%) of them. Children’s height on enrolling the school was in significant positive correlation with birth weight, length and head circumference, and with parents’ heights. The correlation coefficient was the highest with father’s height (r=0.473, p<0.01), and the lowest with birth weight (r=0.158, p<0.05). Children’s weight on enrolling the school significantly positively correlated with the three birth growth features and with father’s height, but not with mother’s height (r=0.091, p>0.05). The correlation coefficient was the highest for father’s height (r=0.288, p<0.01) again. All the birth parameters correlated stronger with mother’s than with father’s height. In the subgroup of children whose mothers were of equal or greater height than fathers (n=28), correlation coefficient between children’s and fathers’ heights (r=0.295, p<0.01) was lower than between children’s and mothers’ heights (r=0.474, p<0.01). In conclusion, children’s weight and height at the time of enrolling primary school significantly positively correlates with their parents’ heights. The correlations are stronger with father’s height. Though, it is not the matter of gender, but of the higher parent. The birth growth parameters are only in part related to parents’ heights (all three with mother’s and only one with father’s height). It is obvious that mothers’ influence is dominant for children’s growth at that time. There was no significant difference in any examined parameter between subgroups of children divided according to their parents education level and employment status.