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How to convert the Harvard standards to NCHS/WHO

This question was posted the Assessment and Surveillance forum area and has 1 replies.

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Bill Kinsey

African Studies Center, Leiden University

Normal user

10 Apr 2017, 12:21

I have an older study that reports undernutrition using the old Harvard standards, and I'd like to convert the reported Harvard percentiles to be able to compare them with z-scores from NCHS/WHO standards. Can anyone point me to a reference/publication that will help me to do this?

Bradley A. Woodruff


Technical expert

27 Apr 2017, 15:13

Dear Bill Kinsey:
Wow, I have not heard mentioned the Harvard criteria in many years. I suspect, although I cannot be sure, that they cannot be mathematically converted to the WHO Growth Standard just as indices calculated using the old WHO:NCHS:CDC cannot be mathematically converted to those obtained from the WHO Growth Standard. I could only find a couple of references dealing somewhat tagentially with this issue, one of which is I don't even know if there are PC programs to calculate indices using the Harvard Growth reference.

However, I imagine that if you have both the original indices and the ages, weights, and heights/lengths of the children, you could easily calculate the WHO Growth Standard indices to compare. I hope this woefully inadequate answer is helpful.

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