Hospital Based Gestational Age Specific Birth Charts in Urban Bangladesh
Keywords:Birth weight, birth length, head and chest circumference
Birth weight is not enough to evaluate growth of the newborn. Around the globe, growth charts at birth as percentiles for various gestational ages are available both in developed and developing countries. This study aimed to develop such growth chart in Bangladesh, to exactly evaluate an individual newborn’s growth pattern by comparing growth of its different parts with that of a standard one. A cross sectional observational study conducted at fifteen non-government maternity centers located in different parts of Dhaka, Narayanganj and Narsingdi. Birth weight, birth length, head and chest circumferences of five thousand one hundred and five singleton newborns’ with gestational ages ranging from 35 to 42 weeks were recorded during June 2014 to July 2015. Trained Physicians and paramedics of respective centers recorded data. Gestational age specific percentile charts were constructed for birth weight, birth length, head circumference and chest circumference. Mean birth weight, birth length, head and chest circumferences were found to be respectively 2966g, 47.1, 33.2 and 32.3 cm which were more or less comparable to some other studies in the country and also higher than some of the studies. Most strikingly, prevalence of low birth weight was found to be 11 percent which is significantly lower than any other study conducted in the country. The 10th, 50th and 90th percentile values of birth weight at 40th weeks of gestation were respectively found to be 2600g, 3000g and 3600g. The linear and circumference growth at 40th weeks of gestation match with the percentile values of birth weight. Constructed growth charts are more or less comparable to some South Asian countries but also significantly differ from some other studies. Country specific standard growth chart is required for clinical assessment and identifying high risk newborns for providing special care. The growth charts constructed in this study, will guide policy makers and programme personnel to take necessary interventions for ensuring potential growth of every future newborn. Furthermore, this study has made the opportunity to compare the charts with other South Asian countries and developed world.
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