Birth seasons and heights among girls and boys below 12 years of age

lasting effects and catch-up growth among native Amazonians in Bolivia

Marek Brabec, Jere R. Behrman, Susan D. Emmett, Edward Gibson, Celeste Kidd, William Leonard, Mary E. Penny, Steven T. Piantadosi, Abhishek Sharma, Susan Tanner, Eduardo A. Undurraga, Ricardo A. Godoy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Seasons affect many social, economic, and biological outcomes, particularly in low-resource settings, and some studies suggest that birth season affects child growth. Aim: To study a predictor of stunting that has received limited attention: birth season. Subjects and methods: This study uses cross-sectional data collected during 2008 in a low-resource society of horticulturists-foragers in the Bolivian Amazon, Tsimane’. It estimates the associations between birth months and height-for-age Z-scores (HAZ) for 562 girls and 546 boys separately, from birth until age 11 years or pre-puberty, which in this society occurs ∼13–14 years. Results: Children born during the rainy season (February–May) were shorter, while children born during the end of the dry season and the start of the rainy season (August–November) were taller, both compared with their age–sex peers born during the rest of the year. The correlations of birth season with HAZ were stronger for boys than for girls. Controlling for birth season, there is some evidence of eventual partial catch-up growth, with the HAZ of girls or boys worsening until ∼ age 4–5 years, but improving thereafter. By age 6 years, many girls and boys had ceased to be stunted, irrespective of birth season. Conclusion: The results suggest that redressing stunting will require attention to conditions in utero, infancy and late childhood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-313
Number of pages15
JournalAnnals of Human Biology
Volume45
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 19 2018

Fingerprint

Bolivia
Parturition
Growth
Growth Disorders
Puberty
Cross-Sectional Studies
Economics

Keywords

  • Tsimane'
  • birth month
  • generalised additive model
  • sex differences
  • stunting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Physiology
  • Aging
  • Genetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Brabec, Marek ; Behrman, Jere R. ; Emmett, Susan D. ; Gibson, Edward ; Kidd, Celeste ; Leonard, William ; Penny, Mary E. ; Piantadosi, Steven T. ; Sharma, Abhishek ; Tanner, Susan ; Undurraga, Eduardo A. ; Godoy, Ricardo A. / Birth seasons and heights among girls and boys below 12 years of age : lasting effects and catch-up growth among native Amazonians in Bolivia. In: Annals of Human Biology. 2018 ; Vol. 45, No. 4. pp. 299-313.
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abstract = "Background: Seasons affect many social, economic, and biological outcomes, particularly in low-resource settings, and some studies suggest that birth season affects child growth. Aim: To study a predictor of stunting that has received limited attention: birth season. Subjects and methods: This study uses cross-sectional data collected during 2008 in a low-resource society of horticulturists-foragers in the Bolivian Amazon, Tsimane’. It estimates the associations between birth months and height-for-age Z-scores (HAZ) for 562 girls and 546 boys separately, from birth until age 11 years or pre-puberty, which in this society occurs ∼13–14 years. Results: Children born during the rainy season (February–May) were shorter, while children born during the end of the dry season and the start of the rainy season (August–November) were taller, both compared with their age–sex peers born during the rest of the year. The correlations of birth season with HAZ were stronger for boys than for girls. Controlling for birth season, there is some evidence of eventual partial catch-up growth, with the HAZ of girls or boys worsening until ∼ age 4–5 years, but improving thereafter. By age 6 years, many girls and boys had ceased to be stunted, irrespective of birth season. Conclusion: The results suggest that redressing stunting will require attention to conditions in utero, infancy and late childhood.",
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Brabec, M, Behrman, JR, Emmett, SD, Gibson, E, Kidd, C, Leonard, W, Penny, ME, Piantadosi, ST, Sharma, A, Tanner, S, Undurraga, EA & Godoy, RA 2018, 'Birth seasons and heights among girls and boys below 12 years of age: lasting effects and catch-up growth among native Amazonians in Bolivia', Annals of Human Biology, vol. 45, no. 4, pp. 299-313. https://doi.org/10.1080/03014460.2018.1490453

Birth seasons and heights among girls and boys below 12 years of age : lasting effects and catch-up growth among native Amazonians in Bolivia. / Brabec, Marek; Behrman, Jere R.; Emmett, Susan D.; Gibson, Edward; Kidd, Celeste; Leonard, William; Penny, Mary E.; Piantadosi, Steven T.; Sharma, Abhishek; Tanner, Susan; Undurraga, Eduardo A.; Godoy, Ricardo A.

In: Annals of Human Biology, Vol. 45, No. 4, 19.05.2018, p. 299-313.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T2 - lasting effects and catch-up growth among native Amazonians in Bolivia

AU - Brabec, Marek

AU - Behrman, Jere R.

AU - Emmett, Susan D.

AU - Gibson, Edward

AU - Kidd, Celeste

AU - Leonard, William

AU - Penny, Mary E.

AU - Piantadosi, Steven T.

AU - Sharma, Abhishek

AU - Tanner, Susan

AU - Undurraga, Eduardo A.

AU - Godoy, Ricardo A.

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N2 - Background: Seasons affect many social, economic, and biological outcomes, particularly in low-resource settings, and some studies suggest that birth season affects child growth. Aim: To study a predictor of stunting that has received limited attention: birth season. Subjects and methods: This study uses cross-sectional data collected during 2008 in a low-resource society of horticulturists-foragers in the Bolivian Amazon, Tsimane’. It estimates the associations between birth months and height-for-age Z-scores (HAZ) for 562 girls and 546 boys separately, from birth until age 11 years or pre-puberty, which in this society occurs ∼13–14 years. Results: Children born during the rainy season (February–May) were shorter, while children born during the end of the dry season and the start of the rainy season (August–November) were taller, both compared with their age–sex peers born during the rest of the year. The correlations of birth season with HAZ were stronger for boys than for girls. Controlling for birth season, there is some evidence of eventual partial catch-up growth, with the HAZ of girls or boys worsening until ∼ age 4–5 years, but improving thereafter. By age 6 years, many girls and boys had ceased to be stunted, irrespective of birth season. Conclusion: The results suggest that redressing stunting will require attention to conditions in utero, infancy and late childhood.

AB - Background: Seasons affect many social, economic, and biological outcomes, particularly in low-resource settings, and some studies suggest that birth season affects child growth. Aim: To study a predictor of stunting that has received limited attention: birth season. Subjects and methods: This study uses cross-sectional data collected during 2008 in a low-resource society of horticulturists-foragers in the Bolivian Amazon, Tsimane’. It estimates the associations between birth months and height-for-age Z-scores (HAZ) for 562 girls and 546 boys separately, from birth until age 11 years or pre-puberty, which in this society occurs ∼13–14 years. Results: Children born during the rainy season (February–May) were shorter, while children born during the end of the dry season and the start of the rainy season (August–November) were taller, both compared with their age–sex peers born during the rest of the year. The correlations of birth season with HAZ were stronger for boys than for girls. Controlling for birth season, there is some evidence of eventual partial catch-up growth, with the HAZ of girls or boys worsening until ∼ age 4–5 years, but improving thereafter. By age 6 years, many girls and boys had ceased to be stunted, irrespective of birth season. Conclusion: The results suggest that redressing stunting will require attention to conditions in utero, infancy and late childhood.

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