Statistical Comparison of Growth Curve Models in First Years of Life in USA and Turkish Pediatric Populations

Background: In pediatric clinical trials and cohort studies, actual height and weight of children at a specific age may be required for certain developmental assessments such as energy expenditure. This necessitates the choice of a growth model with desired characteristics to predict height and weight accurately.

Methods: We compared two commonly used growth curve models, namely, Logistic and Gompertz models, with respect to the distribution of their residuals as well as the logistical challenges in model convergence using the US and Turkish Growth Curve Standards for the first 3 years of life. We compared the model results in terms of the size of the residuals as well as prediction standard error for each data source, for each anthropometric measurement, namely, height and weight, for each gender, and for each modeling parameterizations. We also compared these models under missingness.

Results: We have shown that Gompertz model with only the first parameter is defined with a profile specific random term as well is the best model in terms of prediction accuracy. Although the same Gompertz model fitted on each individual profile without a random term also has similar prediction accuracy, it has much inflated standard error of estimation, thus, not recommended to be used.

Conclusion: We conclude that Gompertz model with only the first parameter is defined with as a random effect performs the best with and without missing data for both height and weight growth in the first three years of life.

Author(s): Mehmet Kocak

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