Forgotten Diseases Research Foundation


Postnatal Growth

National Curves

The curves in this section were made from a comprehensive study of ~2,300 affluent children in 7 cities in India (1). The study has the following tables:

  • Length and height
  • Weight
  • Velocity
  • Head, chest, and mid-arm circumference
  • Comparisons with children of other nationalities

At least 200 measurements were made for each parameter. Affluent children were chosen so that growth would be unaffected by socio-economic constraints. Because the paper has no curves, we have created them here using the data in the paper.



Head Circumference

Chest Circumference

Multiple Curves for Older Children and Adolescents

The curves below were prepared from three large studies of affluent children and adolescents living throughout India (1-3). They were kindly provided by Dr. Kailash Agarwal.

Growth at High Altitudes

A study of children in Leh, Ladakh province, was published in 2020 (4). Leh is at an altitude of 3500 meters (~11,500 feet) and is therefore at a very high altitude. Its cold desert climate is also relatively extreme, with winter weather lasting from November to March and below-freezing weather persisting into April. Many of the study participants came from low-income families or were orphans, but were attending a charitably funded boarding school.

The study followed 401 children from 2012 to 2018 (51.4% boys; 48.6% girls). Underweight and stunting were common, but decreased with time. The reasons for this change were unknown to the authors. The research team had suggested increasing egg and milk intake, and also found some evidence for improvements in socioeconomic conditions in Ladakh, but their contributioins to improved outcomes were not known.

Size at Birth by Gestational Age

The curves in this section were made from data in a study of ~30,000 Indian neonates born at a large hospital in southern India between 1999 and 2009 (5). We were also fortunate to receive data from the authors of the paper.

Head Circumference

  1. 1. Agarwal DK & Agarwal KN (1993) Physical growth in Indian affluent children (birth - 6 years). Indian Pediatr 31(4):377-413. Full text from publisher.
  2. 2. Agarwal DK et al. (1992) Physical and sexual growth pattern of affluent Indian children from 5 to 18 years of age. Indian Pediatr 29(10): 1203-1282. Full text from publisher.
  3. 3. Agarwal KN et al. (2001) Physical growth assessment in adolescence. Indian Pediatr 38(11): 1217-1235. Full text from publisher.
  4. 4. Yang, WC et al.(2020). Child Growth Curves in High-Altitude Ladakh: Results from a Cohort Study. Int J Environ Res Public Health 17(10): 3652. Full text on PubMed Central.
  5. 5. Kandraju H et al. (2012) Gestational age-specific charts for anthropometry at birth for South Indian infants. Indian Pediatr 49(3): 199-202. Full text from publisher.

Page last modified on 4 April 2022.