Validity of puberty self-report in children and adolescents in Ho Chi Minh City

Original Research

Abstract

Background: Puberty is a milestone in child and adolescent development, yet a feasible tool to accurately assess pubertal stage in community context has not been validated in Vietnam.

Aim: This study was conducted to validate pubertal self-report among Ho Chi Minh City children and adolescents in comparison with paediatrician’s assessment.

Methods: 80 girls and 76 boys aged from 6 to 17 years old from 5 schools in Ho Chi Minh City were recruited. Self-administered questionnaires about sexual maturation were distributed to participants and results were compared with physician’s pubertal examination. Kappa statistic and Kendall’s τ b were used to evaluate validity of the questionnaire.

Results: Boys tended to overestimate their development stages while girls tended to underestimate. Fair to almost perfect agreement between students’ reports and paediatricians’ evaluation, along with high concordance was recorded, however younger boys (aged 6-11) showed limited evaluation of their own sexual maturation.

Conclusion: This method was inaccurate to evaluate younger boys’ sexual maturation; however, acceptable accuracy in sexual maturation estimation among younger girls and adolescents could allow it to serve as an effective screening tool in community context.

Graphical abstract

Validation of predictive equations against DXA for estimation of body fat composition in Vietnamese children

Original Research

Abstract

Background: Childhood overweight and obesity are becoming more pronounced in Vietnam, so an assessment tool of high efficiency in the community is warranted. This study sought to validate skinfold thickness (SFT) equations for estimation of body fatness by Goran and Slaughter against DXA to aid in assessing obesity.

Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted on 144 healthy children (ages 6-17) who were conveniently sampled from schools within an urban district. Their anthropometric measurements (height, weight, and SFT) and DXA whole-body results were taken to record body fat percentage (BF%). Bland-Altman analysis and correlation between bias and body fat were employed to understand the agreement between results from each equation and DXA whole body.

Result: BF% was 32.2 ± 7.6% (mean ± SD). 52.8% of the children were overweight or obese. Bland-Altman plots showed that all four SFT equations had wide limits of agreement (LOAs) and largely underestimated the reference BF% by up to 8.90%. Goran equation predicted better when BF% decreased, whereas Slaughter equations produced less bias when there was more body fat.

Conclusion: The prevalence rate of overweight and obesity has become alarming. Besides, Goran and Slaughter equations cannot be used as alternatives for DXA scanning to measure body fat due to their underestimation.

Graphical abstract

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