Report on the expert meeting on the use of international child growth standards in high-andean populations (Lima, 21 - 22 November 2011)
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[Summary]. For the purpose of reviewing the scientific evidence available and making recommendations on the appropriateness and feasibility of carrying out adjustments to the new WHO growth standards for the population living in high-Andean areas, PAHO/ WHO called a meeting of experts on November 21-22 in the city of Lima. Methods and materials.– Bibliographic review, identification and mobilization of experts, presentation of relevant topics and face-to-face and virtual discussion sessions. Results.– The following topics were presented and discussed: the new WHO standards in comparison with those of NCHS; how Peruvian high-Andean populations are and how they live; current scientific evidence on: high altitude hypoxia and growth; fetal growth at high altitudes; and high altitude growth and development (urban populations in La Paz, Bolivia). Conclusions.– The presented evidence appears to indicate that altitude has a marginal effect compared to other social determinants that have a synergistic influence on child growth and development retardation at high altitudes. Therefore, establishing national standards or defining correction factors for altitude is not deemed appropriate. Lastly, exploring the possibility of conducting original studies on secondary data in countries in the Andean Region is recommended in order to compare child growth at different altitudes and socioeconomic status, in order to draw conclusions applicable to the Region.
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