Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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Overview of the CDC Growth Charts

New Features of the CDC Growth Charts
SectionSection 1Section 2Section 3Section 4Section 5Section 6Section 7

Example: Reduction in the Disjunction
between the 1977 and 2000 Charts

David's age is 30 ½ months.
His weight is 26 pounds.
His length measurement is 34 ½ inches (87.4 cm).
His stature measurement is 34 ¼ inches (86.6 cm).

AlertNote that the average difference between recumbent length and stature in national survey data is approximately 0.8 cm and this is the difference shown in this example.

Example of Disjuncture Using the 1977 NCHS Charts

When plotted on the 1977 charts, David's length-for-age is at the 5th percentile while his stature-for-age is at the 10th percentile. When changing from recumbent length to stature, there appeared to be an upward shift in stature. This could be misinterpreted as an improvement in linear growth, when it is actually an artifact of the 1977 charts. This disjunction occurred in part because recumbent length data for the 1977 charts were obtained from the Fels Longitudinal Study while stature data were obtained from NCHS data.

In the new CDC growth charts, there is no longer a disjunction between length and stature because recumbent length and stature data were taken from the same child. When David's measurements are plotted on the CDC Growth Charts, he is at the 10th percentile on both the length-for-age and stature-for-age charts.

Boys: Birth to 36 months chart with plotted point Boys: 2 to 20 years chart with plotted point