Background: Large datasets of detailed anthropometric measurements are scarce in children. The Japanese Standard Association 1978–1981 survey provides a rare opportunity to use high quality data from Japanese children. Aim: To construct inside leg length (ILL) and inside leg length to stature ratio (ILL/S) reference centile curves for Japanese children. Subjects and methods: The study sample consisted of 14,825 boys and 14,577 girls age 0–18 years for stature and weight measurements, and 9064 boys and 8796 girls age 0–12 years for ILL measurements, who participated in the 1978–1981 national survey on body sizes. LMS method was used to construct the reference centile curves. The reference centile curves for stature, weight, ILL, and ILL/S were compared to those of British children. Results: The L, M, and S reference values for Japanese children are presented for stature, weight, ILL, and ILL/S. Compared with British children of 0–12 years of age, Japanese children of 0–12 years of age had shorter median stature, shorter median ILL, and shorter median ILL/S. Conclusion: We present the first reference values for ILL and ILL/S in Japanese children. Japanese children had relatively shorter legs compared to British children from infancy.
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