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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 276-281

Children's growth pattern and mothers' education and socio-economic status in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia


1 College of Medicine, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Family Medicine, King Abdulaziz Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
3 College of Medicine, Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
4 Medical Education, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Abdullah Omar Al Houssien
King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh
Saudi Arabia
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DOI: 10.4103/2468-6360.191909

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Background: An important indication of a child's well-being is evidence of having a normal growth pattern. A child's growth pattern is influenced by multiple factors, genetic and/or environmental. From an environmental point of view, the socio-economic status of the mother plays an important role in a child's growth during the early stages of childhood. Aim: The aim of this study was to explore the association between mothers' educational and socio-economic status on their children's growth in Riyadh. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in eight hospitals in Riyadh. The target population was children aged between 1 month and 7 years and their mothers visiting the vaccination clinics. The mother's data were collected using a structured interview, and the child's weight and height were measured and plotted on growth charts. Results: A total of 744 mothers and children were screened (392 males, 352 females). The proportion of children with weight and height under the 25 th percentile was 40% and 29%, respectively. In terms of education, the height of a higher proportion of children (33%) was under the 25 th percentile if the mother had a high school education compared with 25% when the mother had a college education (P = 0.02). Private sector-employed mothers had a lower proportion of children (26%) with weight below the 25 th percentile compared to mothers who were government-employed or unemployed (both 41%). Mothers living in an apartment had a significantly lower proportion of children (24%) with height under the 25 th percentile compared to mothers living in a house (33%) (P = 0.04). In addition, mothers living in a rented residence had a significantly lower proportion (40%) of children with weight under the 25 th percentile than mothers living in owned ones (42%) (P = 0.02). Conclusion: Underweight and short stature among children are associated with less educated and unemployed mothers and with mothers who live in a house. The mother's socio-economic background provides various indicators that could be further researched to identify children who are at risk.


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