Please cite this paper as: Rijken M, Rijken J, Papageorghiou A, Kennedy S, Visser G, Nosten F, McGready R. Malaria in pregnancy: the difficulties in measuring birthweight. BJOG 2011;118:671–678.
Recommendations for interventions to control malaria in pregnancy are often based on studies using birthweight as the primary endpoint. Differences in birthweight may be attributable partly to methodological difficulties. We performed a structured search of the literature using ‘malaria’, ‘pregnancy’ and ‘birth weight’ as search terms. Of the clinical trials reporting birthweight, only 33% (14/43) gave information about the timing of the measurement and details on the scales used. Seventy seven per cent explained how gestational age was estimated. We propose a standardised method for the measurement and reporting of birthweight in future studies.