The Impact of Maternal Height and Ethnicity on Birthweight of Low-Risk Term Pregnancies Delivered Vaginally-A 7-Year Malaysian Experience

N Dominic, Z Teoh, V Ko Su-Yin, J Mariapun, R Jeganathan, S Karalasingam, T Valliammai

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


Introduction: Clinically, birthweight is routinely measured to identify newborns who are small (SGA) or large-for-gestational-age (LGA), and is an important predictor of the newborns' short and long-term health. Maternal factors including ethnicity, height and nutrition during pregnancy impacts fetal birthweight. At present, the use of standard birth weight charts in Malaysia is derived primarily from the Western populations, has led to misclassification and may not be the best approach for the shorter Asian population. In 2016, 78.7 % of shoulder dystocia cases in Malaysia were classified as appropriate-for-gestational-age (AGA), suggesting that research on the local population is lacking.
Aims: This study aims to analyse the association between maternal height and average birthweight, in relation to ethnicity and gestational age, and to develop maternal height-specific cut-offs of SGA and LGA amongst Malaysians.
Methods: For this retrospective cohort study, data of all low-risk, term (370 to 400 weeks) singleton pregnancies delivered vaginally from 2010 to 2017 were extracted from the National Obstetric Registry (NOR) Malaysia and analysed.
Results: A total of 354,488 births were analysed. The median maternal height is 155.6 cm for Malay, 158.0 cm for Chinese and 156.8 cm for Indian. The median birthweight is 3000 g for Malays and Chinese, 2900 g for Indians. Overall, for every 1-cm increase in maternal height, fetal birthweight increases by 11.8 g. SGA and LGA cut-off also differ significantly with maternal height, ranging from 200 g to 408 g between <145 cm and >170 cm.
Conclusion: Birthweight increases with maternal height amongst Malaysians of all ethnicities. SGA and LGA cut-offs specific to maternal height should be used to guide our management of pregnancies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-20
Number of pages2
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022
EventRoyal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Annual Meeting 2022: Transformation: Making Waves - Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, Gold Coast, Australia
Duration: 10 Oct 202212 Oct 2022

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