National birthweight percentiles by gestational age for twins born in Australia

Authors

  • CL Roberts,

    1. NSW Centre for Perinatal Health Services Research, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Sydney and,
    Search for more papers by this author
  • PAL Lancaster

    1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare National Perinatal Statistics Unit, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author

CL Roberts NSW Centre for Perinatal Health Services Research, Building DO2, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia. Fax: (02) 9351 7742; email: christiner@pub.health.usyd.edu.au

Abstract

Objective: To develop national charts of birthweight percentiles by gestational age and infant sex for liveborn twins born in Australia.

Methodology: National data on live twin births to non-Indigenous Australian-born mothers during 1991–94 were derived from perinatal data collected by midwives in each State and Territory.

Results: During 1991–4 there were 20 075 liveborn twin infants. Of these births, missing data included: birthweight 36 (0.2%) births, gestational age 95 (0.5%) births, and sex (missing or indeterminate) 13 (0.06%) births. These births were excluded from the study. An additional 0.6% births were excluded because the recorded birthweights were extreme outliers for the recorded gestational ages. Forty-seven per cent of live twin births were preterm (< 37 weeks). At all gestational ages, the median birthweight of male twins was higher than that of female twins. At modal gestational age of 38 weeks, the difference in the median birthweight was 130 g.

Conclusions: The charts produced as a result of the study provide birthweight percentiles by gestational age for twins based on national data in Australia. They provide current population norms for the use of Australian clinicians and researchers.

Ancillary