Article Title

Rate of Growth in Length of Bangladeshi Infants as a Function of Attained Length

Document Type



We examine variation in the rate of growth in length of breast-feeding infants from rural Bangladesh. These data were collected between November 1985 and February 1986 from two rural sites. Eighty-eight infants, ranging from birth to 4 months of age at the start of the study and their mothers were measured monthly for 4 months. Length increased linearly with age over this 4-month period (infants’ average bias-adjusted R2 = 0.90). The relationship between infant rate of growth in length and attained length was analyzed by two different methods: Oldham’s (1962) method of regressing rate of growth on mean length and Blomqvist’s (1977) method of regressing rate of growth on estimated initial length. The methods gave similar results. The rate of growth was negatively associated with mean infant length over the 4-month period (p < 0.001); that is, shorter infants grew at a faster rate than longer infants. For every centimeter shorter the infant was, the rate of growth was 0.1 cm/mo faster on average; the effect was greater among males than among females. The average rate of growth was greater for males than for females and greater in financially solvent households and varied by site. Infant growth rate was slower among older infants than among younger infants, as expected. However, after adjusting for mean infant length, age was no longer significantly associated with infant growth rate, although mean infant length remained highly significant. Forty-one percent of the variation in infant rate of growth in length was explained by mean infant length, sex, sex by length interaction, household financial solvency, and site.

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