Efficiency of various anthropometric measurements in determining low birth weight babies.


Anthropometric measurements were applied to 119 healthy, singleton, full-term infants born during June 1993-January 1994 in the obstetric ward of the community medicine department of SKIMS in Srinagar, Kashmir, India. Researchers aimed to identify an alternative simple and accurate measurement to birth weight for field conditions. The anthropometric measurements included weight, crown-heel length, mid-arm circumference, head circumference, thigh circumference, calf circumference, and chest circumference. The researchers applied their findings to a separate cohort of 250 newborns at the child health clinic of the same department to determine specificity, sensitivity, and predictive values. The mean birth weight was 2.8 kg. Mean mid-arm, calf, thigh, chest, and head circumferences were 10.45, 10.15, 015.73, 32.18, and 34.96 cm, respectively. Mean crown-heel length was 49.78 cm. Birth weight had a very significant correlation with calf circumference (r = 0.87), thigh circumference (r = 0.7), mid-arm circumference (r = 0.7), and chest circumference (r = 0.40). Calf circumference accounted for 75.69% of the total variance. Thigh circumference and mid-arm circumference accounted for 49% and 46.24%, respectively. The critical level value of birth weight to 2.5 kg was 9.78 cm for calf circumference, 14.8 cm for thigh circumference, 9.94 cm for mid-arm circumference, 32.23 cm for chest circumference, 34.72 cm for head circumference, and 49.58 cm for chest circumference. Calf circumference had the highest sensitivity and specificity (93.55% and 98.92%, respectively), compared to 77.42% and 92.63%, respectively, for thigh circumference and 64.52% and 93.55%, respectively, for mid-arm circumference. The likelihood of missing low birth weight infants was lowest for calf circumference (7-8% vs. 22-23% for thigh circumference and 30-35% for mid-arm circumference). These findings show that calf circumference is the most effective alternative anthropometric measurement to birth weight for identifying low birth weight newborns.

Cite this paper

@article{Bhat1995EfficiencyOV, title={Efficiency of various anthropometric measurements in determining low birth weight babies.}, author={Imtiyaz Ali Bhat and Goutam Dhar and Ghulam Nabi Shah and Km. Neelofar and A Shehzada}, journal={Indian journal of maternal and child health : official publication of Indian Maternal and Child Health Association}, year={1995}, volume={6 2}, pages={40-2} }