Researches that made history

Growth Curves

It was developed the new growth curves standards used by the World Health Organization (WHO).

CPE researchers, together with scientists of other five countries, developed an international reference tool of children growth, for children who are up to 5 years old. The study investigated 8.500 children from Pelotas (Brazil), Davis (United States), Accra (Ghana), New Delhi (India), Oslo (Norway), and Oman (Muscat). Governments of most of the countries of the world use the new growth curve.

Brazil was included in this study to represent Latin America, based on epidemiological studies, geographic location of the communities, and existence of a qualified research institution, among other criteria. The data collection for all the study started in 1997 and finished in 2003. It was gathered information about the child population of the city of Pelotas, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul.

This Growth Curve is an important technical tool for measuring, monitoring, and evaluating all children's growth, from 0 to 5 years old, no matter their ethnic background, socioeconomic situation, or kind of diet.

Authors: Maria Cecilia Formoso Assunção Ina S Santos; Aluisio J D Barros; Denise Petrucci Gigante; Cesar Gomes Victora (2004-2006)

Law in Brazil established the iron fortification of flour in 2004. Researchers from CPE evaluated the impact of this fortification on the level of hemoglobin in children aged 0 to 6 years old.

The study was conducted at Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul, and it consisted of three evaluations at a 12-month interval. In May 2004, before the iron fortification of flour was implemented, it was tested the hemoglobin levels of a probabilistic sample of 453 children.After twelve and twenty-four months, samples of 923 and 863 children were studied, respectively.

The three analysed groups were comparable in terms of demographic and socioeconomic features. No fortification effect was observed in the children's hemoglobin levels, which can be partially explained by the insufficient flour intake and/or by the low bioavailability of dietary iron.


Epidemiology Postgraduate Program- Centre of Epidemiological Research