Annals of Human Biology vol:39 issue:3 pages:195-205
Background: Secular trends in height and weight are reasonably well documented in Europe. Corresponding observations for skeletal maturation are lacking. Aim: To assess secular trends in height, body mass and skeletal maturity of Portuguese children and adolescents and to provide updated reference values for skeletal maturity scores (SMSs). Subjects and methods: Data for 2856 children and adolescents of 4-17 years, 1412 boys and 1444 girls, from The 'Madeira Growth Study' (MGS; 1996-1998) and from the'Healthy Growth of Madeira Children Study' (CRES; 2006) were used. Height and body mass were measured. Skeletal maturity was assessed with the Tanner-Whitehouse 2 and 3 methods. Results: Children from CRES were taller and heavier than peers from MGS. Differences in height reached 5.8 cm in boys and 5.5 cm in girls. RUS SMSs did not differ consistently between surveys boys, while higher RUS scores were observed in CRES girls. Adult RUS SMSs for MGS and CRES combined were attained at 15.8 years in boys and 14.8 years in girls. Corresponding ages for adult Carpal SMSs were 14.4 and 14.0, respectively. Conclusion: The short-term trends for height and mass were not entirely consistent with the trends in RUS and Carpal SMSs and SAs.