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Med J Aust. 1999 Feb 1;170(3):114-8.

Australian national birthweight percentiles by gestational age.

Author information

1
NSW Centre for Perinatal Health Services Research, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Sydney. christiner@pub.health.usyd.edu.au

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To develop national birthweight percentiles by gestational age for male and female singleton infants born in Australia, and to compare the birthweight percentiles of Indigenous and non-Indigenous infants.

DESIGN AND SETTING:

Cross-sectional study of singleton live births to Australian-born mothers from 1991 to 1994.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Birthweight percentiles by gestational age.

RESULTS:

During 1991-1994 Australian-born women gave birth to 769,077 live singleton infants. Of these, 28,230 (3.7%) were reported as births to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander women. Birthweight was missing for 581 (0.1%) births and gestational age was missing for 3014 (0.4%). An additional 3283 (0.4%) births were excluded because the recorded birthweights were extreme outliers for their recorded gestational ages. Indigenous women were more likely to be recorded as giving birth preterm (< 37 weeks' gestation) than non-Indigenous women (11.6% v. 5.4%) and were more likely to give birth to small-for-gestational-age infants at term. After 34 weeks' gestation, the median birthweights of Indigenous infants were consistently lower than those of non-Indigenous infants. At 40 weeks' gestation the difference in the median birthweights between these two groups was 160 g for males and 130 g for females.

CONCLUSIONS:

We present recent birthweight percentiles by gestational age based on national data in Australia. These percentiles provide current Australian norms for clinicians and researchers, and can provide a baseline for monitoring Indigenous perinatal outcomes.

PMID:
10065122
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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