Interpreting neonatal growth parameters in Oman: Are we doing it right?

Reem M. Abdulrahim, Ahmed B. Idris*, Asad Ur-Rahman, Mohamed Abdellatif, Nigel Fuller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: This study aimed to compare reference anthropometric measures of Omani neonates with the international standard growth charts of the World Health Organization (WHO) in order to determine the appropriateness of these growth charts to assess the growth of Omani neonates. Methods: This cross-sectional study included all healthy full-term Omani neonates born between November 2014 and November 2015 at the Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Muscat, Oman. Birth weight, length and head circumference measurements were identified and compared to those of the 2006 WHO growth charts. Results: A total of 2,766 full-term neonates were included in the study, of which 1,401 (50.7%) were male and 1,365 (49.3%) were female. Mean birth weights for Omani males and females were 3.16 ± 0.39 kg and 3.06 ± 0.38 kg, respectively; these were significantly lower than the WHO standard measurements (P <0.001). Similarly, the mean head circumferences of Omani males and females (33.8 ± 1.27 cm and 33.3 ± 1.26 cm, respectively) were significantly lower than those reported in the WHO growth charts (P <0.001). In contrast, mean lengths for Omani males and females (52.0 ± 2.62 cm and 51.4 ± 2.64 cm, respectively) were significantly higher than the WHO standard measurements (P <0.001). Conclusion: The WHO growth charts might not be appropriate for use with Omani neonates; possible alternatives should therefore be considered, such as national growth charts based on local data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e411-e417
JournalSultan Qaboos University Medical Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017


  • Anthropometry
  • Growth charts
  • Neonates
  • Oman
  • World Health Organization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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