Document Type : Original Article
Department of Paediatrics,Aarupadi Veedu Medical College and Hospital, VMRF (Deemed to be University), Puducherry, India
Background: Neonatal mortality rate accounts for 20.3 per 1000 live births in India. One of the significant predictors of neonatal mortality is low birth weight. Weight is the most extensively used parameter. However, there are alternate anthropometry parameters, such as mid-arm circumference, mid-thigh circumference, and mid-calf circumference, which can be used to assess newborns' growth and identify the newborns at risk. The current study aimed to determine the correlation between limb anthropometric measurements and gestational age and to derive the mean and standard deviation for all limb anthropometric measurements of the newborn with gestational age.
Methods: The study included 400 live newborn babies admitted to the NICU/PNW at the Aarupadai Veedu Medical College and Hospital for routine observation from December 2020 to October 2022. Within 48 hours after birth, newborns were evaluated for anthropometric measures using standard techniques.
Results: All limb anthropometric measurements increased as gestational age increased to 39-40 weeks, which began to decline after 40 weeks. There was a strong correlation between limb anthropometric measurement with gestational age (p < 0.001), with mid-thigh circumference exhibiting the highest correlation (r=0.652).
Conclusion: The findings of the current study suggest that besides birth weight, other basic anthropometric parameters, such as limb anthropometry (e.g., mid-thigh circumference), can be effectively used to quantify prenatal development and identify infants at risk.
Conducting an analysis of anthropometric measures after delivery allows for a rapid assessment of infants with atypical growth patterns, making them more susceptible metabolic complications.