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East Afr Med J. 1999 Aug;76(8):468-71.

Maternal age, parity and gestational age on the size of the newborn in Addis Ababa.

Author information

1
Endocrinology and Metabolism Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess birthweight, length and head circumference of live births, and to examine the effect of maternal age, parity and gestational age on birth size of the live births.

DESIGN:

A prospective study.

SETTING:

Tikur Anbessa, Zewditu, Gandhi memorial and St. Pauls hospitals, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

SUBJECTS:

Four thousand two hundred and six consecutive live births from July 1996 to January 1997.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Weight, length and head circumference of the newborns.

RESULTS:

Among the 4206 consecutive live births, 4047 were singleton and 159 were twins. Two thousand one hundred and sixty (51.7%) were males and 2046 (48.6%) were females. The mean birthweight of singleton live births was 3065 +/- 465 g, with modal group of 3000-4000 g. The incidence of low birthweight was 9.1%. The mean length for all singleton live births was 48.6 +/- 3.3 cm and modal group of 46-52 cm. The mean head circumference was 34.4 + 2.9 cm; modal group 31-37 cm. The incidence of low birthweight of the newborns was significantly higher for females, younger maternal age, primiparas and pre-term babies. On the multivariate analysis, gestational age and sex of the newborn respectively had significant effects on birthweight, length and head circumference of the neonates controlling for the other variables. On the other hand parity and maternal age had significant effects only on the birthweight of the neonates.

CONCLUSION:

This study has provided information on the effects of some of maternal characteristics on the size, particularly length and head circumference of newborns which were not given emphasis on previous birthweight studies. We suggest proper recording and analysis of birthweight, length and head circumferences be given importance for monitoring and evaluating maternal and child health programmes.

PIP:

This prospective study examined the effect of maternal age, parity, and gestational age on the size of the newborn and assessed the birth weight, length, and head circumference of live births in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Birth sizes of a total of 4206 consecutive live births from the four referral hospitals from July 1996 to January 1997 were measured. The mean birth weight of the 4047 singleton live births was 3065 +or- 465 g, with a modal group of 3000-4000 g; 9.1% were of low birth weight. Their mean length was 48.6 +or- 3.3 cm, with a modal group of 46-52 cm. Moreover, the incidence of low birth weight was found to be significantly higher for female neonates, younger maternal age, primiparas, and preterm live births. Multivariate analysis showed that gestational age and sex of the newborn, respectively, had significant effects on birth weight, length, and head circumference of the newborns controlling for the other variables, while parity and age of the mother had significant effects only on the birth weight of the newborns. In conclusion, proper recording and analysis of birth weight, length, and head measurements should be given importance for monitoring and evaluating maternal and child health programs.

PMID:
10520356
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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