Individualized birth length and head circumference percentile charts based on maternal body weight and height

Manfred Voigt 1 , 2 , Lena Marie Meyer-Kahrweg 3 , Erin Landau-Crangle 4 , Hon Yiu So 5 , Jan Däbritz 3 , Markus Rochow 6 , Mirjam Kunze 1 ,  and Niels Rochow 3 , 7 , 8
  • 1 Department of Gynaecology, University Medical Center Freiburg, University of Freiburg, Faculty of Medicine, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany
  • 2 Biological Anthropology, Medical Faculty, University Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany
  • 3 Department of Pediatrics, University Medical Center Rostock, Rostock, Germany
  • 4 School of Medicine, Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada
  • 5 Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada
  • 6 Carl-Thiem-Hospital, Cottbus, Germany
  • 7 Department of Pediatrics, Paracelsus Medical University, Nuremberg, Germany
  • 8 Department of Pediatrics, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada
Manfred Voigt
  • Department of Gynaecology, University Medical Center Freiburg, University of Freiburg, Faculty of Medicine, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany
  • Biological Anthropology, Medical Faculty, University Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany
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, Lena Marie Meyer-Kahrweg, Erin Landau-Crangle, Hon Yiu So
  • Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada
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, Jan Däbritz, Markus Rochow, Mirjam Kunze
  • Department of Gynaecology, University Medical Center Freiburg, University of Freiburg, Faculty of Medicine, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany
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and Niels Rochow
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Pediatrics, University Medical Center Rostock, Rostock, Germany
  • Department of Pediatrics, Paracelsus Medical University, Nuremberg, Germany
  • Department of Pediatrics, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada
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Abstract

Objectives

Measurement of birth length and birth head circumference is part of the newborn assessment. Both measurements aid in distinguishing between proportionate and disproportionate small and large for gestational age newborns. It had been shown that birth weight is related to maternal height and weight. This study aims to analyze birth length and birth head circumference percentiles based on maternal stature.

Methods

This observational study analyzed birth length and birth head circumference percentiles of 2.3 million newborns stratified by maternal height and weight from the first obstetric assessment. Percentiles were calculated for sex and 22–43 gestational weeks for all infants. Eighteen subgroups based on six maternal height and three weight strata were defined and percentiles calculated from 32 to 42 gestational weeks using GAMLSS package for R.

Results

Newborns of mothers with height <158 cm and weight <53 kg (short stature) had a rate of preterm birth of 9%, compared to 5% in the tall stature group (height >177 cm, weight >79 kg). Small stature mothers were 1.7 years younger. Birth length differed by several centimeters for the same percentiles between groups of short and tall stature mothers, whereas birth head circumference differed up to 1.2 cm. The largest deviation of birth length was between the 97th percentiles. For male newborns born at term, birth length at the 97th percentile differed by 3.2 cm, at the 50th percentile by 2.7 cm and at the third percentile by 2.5 cm.

Conclusions

Birth length and birth head circumference are related to maternal height and weight. To more completely assess newborns, the maternal size should be considered.

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