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Revista Brasileira de Saúde Materno Infantil

Print version ISSN 1519-3829On-line version ISSN 1806-9304


ROMANI, Sylvia de Azevedo Mello  and  LIRA, Pedro Israel Cabral de. Determinant factors of infant growth. Rev. Bras. Saude Mater. Infant. [online]. 2004, vol.4, n.1, pp.15-23. ISSN 1519-3829.

This review focuses on factors interfering with growth during the first years of life. Information was collected from articles published in indexed scientific journals, theses, technical books and publications of international organizations. Infant growth is one of the best health indicators, and linear growth retardation is currently the most representative anthropometric characteristic of child nutrition epidemiology in Brazil. The review indicates the value of genetics in growth, focusing, however on the influence of the extrinsic factors. Growth process results from interaction between genetic and environmental factors, determining variation in genetic potential manifestations. Because of the complex nature of infant growth, several studies have been developed aiming at relating biological, socio-economic, maternal, environmental, cultural, demographic and nutritional determinants among others, with the etiology, development and maintenance of growth. This review reinforces the value of permanent investigation on infant growth, especially concerning the long term impact on infant health.

Keywords : Growth; Child welfare; Environment.

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