Australian national birthweight percentiles by sex and gestational age for twins, 2001-2010

Publication Type:
Journal Article
BMC Pediatrics, 2015, 15 (1)
Issue Date:
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© 2015 Li et al. Background: Birthweight remains one of the strongest predictors of perinatal mortality and disability. Birthweight percentiles form a reference that allows the detection of neonates at higher risk of neonatal and postneonatal morbidity. The aim of the study is to present updated national birthweight percentiles by gestational age for male and female twins born in Australia. Methods: Population data were extracted from the Australian National Perinatal Data Collection for twins born in Australia between 2001 and 2010. A total of 43,833 women gave birth to 87,666 twins in Australia which were included in the study analysis. Implausible birthweights were excluded using Tukey's methodology based on the interquartile range. Univariate analysis was used to examine the birthweight percentiles for liveborn twins born between 20 and 42 weeks gestation. Results: Birthweight percentiles by gestational age were calculated for 85,925 live births (43,153 males and 42,706 females). Of these infants, 53.6 % were born preterm (birth before 37 completed weeks of gestation) while 50.2 % were low birthweight (<2500 g) and 8.7 % were very low birthweight (<1500 g). The mean birthweight decreased from 2462 g in 2001 to 2440 g in 2010 for male twins, compared with 2485 g in 1991-94. For female twins, the mean birthweight decreased from 2375 g in 2001 to 2338 g in 2010, compared with 2382 g in 1991-94. Conclusions: The birthweight percentiles provide clinicians and researchers with up-to-date population norms of birthweight percentiles for twins in Australia.
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