Application of A global reference for fetal-weight and birthweight percentiles in predicting infant mortality
To determine whether the recently published A global reference for fetal-weight and birthweight percentiles (Global Reference) improves small- (SGA), appropriate- (AGA), and large-for-gestational-age (LGA) definitions in predicting infant mortality.
Population-based cohort study.
The US Linked Livebirth and Infant Death records between 1995 and 2004.
Singleton births with birthweight >500 g born at 24–41 weeks of gestation.
We compared infant mortality rates of SGA, AGA, and LGA infants classified by three different references: the Global Reference; a commonly used birthweight reference; and Hadlock's ultrasound reference.
Main outcome measures
Infant mortality rates.
Among 33 997 719 eligible liveborn singleton births, 25% of preterm and 9% of term infants were classified differently for SGA, AGA, and LGA by the Global Reference and the birthweight reference. The Global Reference indicated higher mortality rates in preterm SGA and preterm LGA infants than the birthweight reference. The mortality rate was considerably higher in infants classified as preterm SGA by the Global Reference but not by the birthweight reference, compared with the corresponding infants classified by the birthweight reference but not by the Global Reference (105.7 versus 12.9 per 1000, RR 8.17, 95% CI 7.38–9.06). Yet, the differences in mortality rates were much smaller in term infants than in preterm infants. Black infants had a particularly higher mortality rate than other races in AGA and LGA preterm and term infants.
In respect to the commonly used birthweight reference, the Global Reference increases the identification of infant deaths by improved classification of abnormal newborn size at birth, and these advantages were more obvious in preterm than in term infants.