The physical characteristics and anthropometric measurements among different gestational age of newborn infants

Santosh Kumar Roy, Ajit Kumar Shrivastava, Prema Ram Choudhary


Background: Prematurity or short gestational age is associated with increased neonatal mortality and morbidity. In low income or developing countries precise gestational age is still frequently not known and making the identification of premature newborns is not easy. The aim of this study was to investigate the physical characteristics and anthropometric measurements to estimate gestational age of newborn infants.

Methods: In a cross-sectional study, we included 90 pregnant women, 27 were preterm with gestational age 28-36 weeks, 55 were term with gestational age 37-41 weeks and remaining 8 were post term with gestational age 42-43 weeks. After normal delivery the physical characteristics and anthropometric measurements were recorded in all 90 singleton live newborns. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS windows version 20.0 software.

Results: The physical characteristics namely sole creases, ear firmness, skin texture, skull firmness, hair texture and anterior Fontenelle were well developed in term and post term newborns as compared pre term newborns babies. All the anthropometric measurements such as length of infants, birth weight, head circumference, chest circumference and crown rump length were significantly higher in newborns of post term (p<0.0001) and term (p<0.001) groups as compared to newborns in preterm group.

Conclusions: It is concluded from this study that the physical characteristics and anthropometric measurements in generally have increased with the advancement of gestational age. Hence, physical characteristics and anthropometric measurement can be used to estimate the gestational age of newborn babies.


Anthropometric, Gestational age, Newborns, Physical characteristics, Preterm birth, Term, Post term

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