Health  Vol.3 No.12 , December 2011
Anthropometric measurements at birth as predictor of low birth weight
Abstract: In developing countries, low birth weight (BW < 2500 grams) accounts for 60% - 80% of neonatal deaths. Early identification and referral of LBW babies for extra essential newborn care is vital in preventing neonatal deaths. Studies carried out in different populations have suggested that the use of newborn anthropometric surrogates of birth weight may be a simple and reliable method to identify LBW babies. previous studies reported correlation between birth weight to several anthropometric measurements and their predictive value. We aimed to evaluate the correlation between birth length, head, chest, and mid arm circumferences to birth weight. Methods: A cross sectional study has been conducted in SHARIATI Hospital in Tehran, from September 2008 to February 2009. All Consecutive full-term. Single ton, live born babies were included and anthropometric measurements carried out within 48 hours after birth by authors. Birth weight was measured by digital scale within the first 24 hours after delivery. Birth length by somatometer and head, chest, mid arm circumferences were measured 2 times by using plastic measuring tape. Result: Out of 500 newborn studied. 52.2% were male and 47.8% were female. The mean birth weight was 3195.4 ± 399.9 gram and 3.8% of newborns were low birth weight. It was evident a positive correlation of birth weight to all such anthropometric measurements with the highest correlation coefficient for chest circumference (r: 0.74). By ROC- AUC analyses, chest circumference (AUC = 0.91, 95% CI 0.84 to 0.97) and arm circumference (AUC = 0.87, 95% CI 0.79 to 0.95) were identified as the optimal surrogate indicators of LBW babies. The optimal cut-points for chest circumference and arm circumference to identify LBW newborns were ≥31.2 cm and ≥10.2 cm respectively. Conclusions: Chest and mid arm circumferences were the best anthropometric surrogates of LBW among studied Iranian population. Further studies are needed in the field to cross-validate our results. anthropometric values are simple, practicable, quick and reliable indicator for predicting LBW newborns in the community and can be easily measured by paramedical workers in developing nation.
Cite this paper: nullSajjadian, N. , Shajari, H. , Rahimi, F. , Jahadi, R. and Barakat, M. (2011) Anthropometric measurements at birth as predictor of low birth weight. Health, 3, 752-756. doi: 10.4236/health.2011.312125.

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