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Year : 2003  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 168-172

Anthropometric measurements in the detection of low birth weight infants in Lagos

Department of Paediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, P.M.B. 12003, Idi-Araba, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
V C Ezeaka
Department of Paediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, P.M.B. 12003, Idi-Araba, Lagos
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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The present study was undertaken to determine the anthropometric risk indicators in the detection of infants with low birth weight. A total of 788 consecutive, singleton, live born infants had anthropometric measurements determined within 24 hours of life using standard methods. There were 389 (49.37%) males and 399 (50.63%) females; 136 (17.56%) of the infants were of low birth weight (LBW). Birthweight was significantly correlated with occipitofrontal circumference (OFC; r = 0.66), length (r = 0.86), mid-arm circumference (MAC; r = 0.88) and maximum thigh circumference (MTC; r = 0.95) (p < 0.001). Furthermore, OFC of 33.6 cm and 32.3 cm, length of 47.7 cm and 45.5 cm, MAC of 9.6 cm and 9.1 cm, and MTC values of 15.5 cm and 14.9 cm were the corresponding cut-off values with the best combination of sensitivity, specificity and predictive values (p < 0.001) for identifying infants with birth weights of < 2500 g and < 2000 g respectively. The use of these risk indicators would help to identify newborns for close supervision and care, as well as prevent mortality and postnatal developmental retardation.

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