Background: The contribution of intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) and parental height (PH) to childhood short stature is difficult to determine in countries, including the UK, where birth length (BL) is not routinely measured, while accurate PH may become unavailable due to separation/divorce. A previous study (20082009) examined the feasibility of BL and PH measurement in the lightest 9% of babies born in a single maternity unit. Uptake was disappointing, with particularly limited success of PH capture after birth.
Objective and hypotheses: To re-evaluate the feasibility of measuring BL and PH in light infants in a second study in the same maternity unit.
Method: BL and PH measurement were offered for infants with birth weight (BW) ≤9th centile (UK 1990 reference data) from October 20132014. Infants were stratified based on BW and/or BL≤−2 S.D.s as: i) Light ii) Short or iii) Light+Short. Re-measurement at 2 years has been arranged for Short and Light+Short babies to evaluate catch-up growth.
Results: BW was collated for 3484/3510 liveborn infants and was ≤9th centile in 416 (11.9%) infants of 2841 weeks gestation. Consent to participate was obtained in 206 (50%) infants, refused in 127 (31%) and not requested by oversight in 78 (19%). BL was measured in 189 (92%) consented infants, of whom 14 (7%) were Light, 50 (26%) Short and 38 (20%) Light+Short. Both PH were measured in 175/206 (85%) infants. Follow-up at 2 years is planned for 88 infants of whom 85 (97%) have one or both PH measured or reported.
Conclusion: This second study has demonstrated a high success rate for BL and PH measurement in consented babies, confirming that targeted measurement in the lightest 9% of babies is feasible. The problems encountered with obtaining consent could be obviated if measurement of light infants and follow up of short children were incorporated into standard practice.
01 Oct 2015 - 03 Oct 2015