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What is failure to thrive

Forum: FTT and Weight Gain Issues


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May 17th, 2005, 11:27 AM
pattyandthemoos's Avatar Administrator
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Michigan
Posts: 61,857
Growth failure, or failure to thrive (FTT), is a descriptive term and not a specific diagnosis. Although definitions vary, most authors use this term only when growth has been noted to be low or to have decreased over time. For instance, some authors define FTT as height or weight less than the third to fifth percentiles for age on more than one occasion. Other authors cite height or weight measurements falling 2 major percentile lines using the standard growth charts of the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). Still others state that true malnutrition (weight <80% of ideal body weight for age) should be present to state a child is failing to thrive. All authorities agree that only by comparing height and weight on a growth chart over time can FTT be assessed accurately. Although measurements of head circumference are important in the evaluation of infants and toddlers, failure of the head to grow is not part of the FTT entity.[/b]

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