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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2002 Oct;56(10):947-51.

Determinants of weight and length of Indonesian neonates.

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SEAMEO TROPMED Regional Center for Community Nutrition, Jakarta, Indonesia.



To investigate the determinants of neonatal weight and length.


From 16-20 week of pregnancy, 366 mothers of the neonates had participated in the community-based study to investigate the effect of weekly supplementation during pregnancy with iron and vitamin A on infant growth. Women from five villages were allocated randomly to receive two tablets each containing 60 mg iron as ferrous sulphate and 250 micro g folic acid (n=121) or two tablets each containing 2400 RE vitamin A in addition to the same amount of ferrous sulphate and folic acid (n=122). A third ('daily') group (n=123) participating in the national iron supplementation programme was recruited from four neighbouring villages.


Neonatal weight and length did not differ between the two weekly groups and between the weekly iron group and the 'daily' group. Iron and vitamin A status during pregnancy did not influence neonatal weight and length significantly. Boys were 100 g heavier and 0.53 cm longer than girls (P<0.05). First born neonates were lighter (P<0.01) and tended to be shorter (P=0.070) than neonates of higher birth order. Maternal age and education as well as other socioeconomic determinants were not associated with neonatal weight and length. Neonatal weight was 32% explained by gestational age, maternal weight, postnatal measurement, gender and parity, while neonatal length was 28% explained by gestational age, maternal weight, postnatal measurement, gender and maternal height.


Gestational age, maternal weight at second trimester and infant gender were the main predictors of neonatal weight and length.


The study was supported by The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research-Netherlands Foundation for the Advancement of Tropical Research (NWO-WOTRO; WV 93-280) and Neys-van Hoogstraten Foundation (IN 114), The Netherlands, and German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ)/South East Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO), Indonesia.

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