Birth Weight Ratio as an Alternative to Birth Weight Percentile to Express Infant Weight in Research and Clinical Practice: A Nationwide Cohort Study

Bart Jan Voskamp, Brenda Kazemier, Ewoud Schuit, Ben Willem J. Mol, Maarten Buimer, Eva Pajkrt, Wessel Ganzevoort

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Objective. To compare birth weight ratio and birth weight percentile to express infant weight when assessing pregnancy outcome. Study Design. We performed a national cohort study. Birth weight ratio was calculated as the observed birth weight divided by the median birth weight for gestational age. The discriminative ability of birth weight ratio and birth weight percentile to identify infants at risk of perinatal death (fetal death and neonatal death) or adverse pregnancy outcome (perinatal death + severe neonatal morbidity) was compared using the area under the curve. Outcomes were expressed stratified by gestational age at delivery separate for birth weight ratio and birth weight percentile. Results. We studied 1,299,244 pregnant women, with an overall perinatal death rate of 0.62%. Birth weight ratio and birth weight percentile have equivalent overall discriminative performance for perinatal death and adverse perinatal outcome. In late preterm infants (33+0–36+6 weeks), birth weight ratio has better discriminative ability than birth weight percentile for perinatal death (0.68 versus 0.63, 푃 0.01) or adverse pregnancy outcome (0.67 versus 0.60, 푃 < 0.001). Conclusion. Birth weight ratio is a potentially valuable instrument to identify infants at risk of perinatal death and adverse pregnancy outcome and provides several advantages for use in research and clinical practice. Moreover, it allows comparison of groups with different average birth weights
Original languageEnglish
Article number749476
Number of pages9
JournalObstetrics and Gynecology International
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Cite this