letter to the editor

Oman Medical Journal [2023], Vol. 38, No. 5: e562 

Impact of Intimate Partner Violence on Iranian Children's Growth and Development: A Descriptive-analytical Study

Mahmood Dhahir Al-Mendalawi*

Department of Pediatrics, Al-Kindy College of Medicine, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq

article info


Dear Editor,

In the January 2023 issue of the Oman Medical Journal, Lye et al,1 studied the impact of intimate partner violence (IPV) on married Iranian women on the growth and development of their children who witnessed the same. Based on the World Health Organization (WHO) body mass index (BMI) curves, the authors reported that 91.7% of children had normal weight and the remaining 8.3% were overweight or obese. There were no significant differences between the BMI Z-score and the developmental deficits in the children of women who were subjected and not subjected to IPV. The paper concluded that the rates of poor growth and development in children who witnessed IPV were low.

This brings us to a limitation of this study (which is in addition to the limitations expressed in the paper). Attempts to generate internationally applicable pediatric growth curves that reflect the prolonged period of growth in children worldwide have been fraught with difficulties.2 Thus, many countries generated their own BMI curves for clinical and research purposes.3,4 Iran has already built local BMI curves for children and adolescents and constructed key centiles and national cut-off points which were extracted from the consolidated database that represents all Iranian provinces.5

Evaluation of Iranian national BMI curves with the BMI curves developed by WHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed substantial differences.5

Consequently, we opine that using WHO BMI curves as a benchmark instead of the Iranian national BMI curves represents a serious methodological flaw, impacting the validity of the study’s findings.


  1. 1. Lye MS, Zarghami M, Charati JY, Abdollahi F. Impact of intimate partner violence on Iranian children’s growth and development: a descriptive-analytical study. Oman Med J 2023 Jan;38(1):e464.
  2. 2. Oliveira MH, Pereira DD, Melo DS, Silva JC, Conde WL. Accuracy of international growth charts to assess nutritional status in children and adolescents: a systematic review. Rev Paul Pediatr 2022 Apr;40:e2021016.
  3. 3. Eiholzer U, Fritz C, Katschnig C, Dinkelmann R, Stephan A. Contemporary height, weight and body mass index references for children aged 0 to adulthood in Switzerland compared to the Prader reference, WHO and neighbouring countries. Ann Hum Biol 2019 Sep;46(6):437-447.
  4. 4. Núñez-Rivas HP, Holst-Schumacher I, Campos-Saborío N, López-López E. Percentiles of body mass index and waist circumference for Costa Rican children and adolescents. Nutr Hosp 2022 Dec;39(6):1228-1236.
  5. 5. Mohammadi MR, Mostafavi SA, Hooshyari Z, Khaleghi A, Ahmadi N, Kamali K, et al. National growth charts for BMI among Iranian children and adolescents in comparison with the WHO and CDC curves. Child Obes 2020 Jan;16(1):34-43.