Leary, S. ; Fall, C. ; Osmond, C. ; Lovel, H. ; Campbell, D. ; Eriksson, J. ; Forrester, T. ; Godfrey, K. ; Hill, J. ; Jie, M. ; Law, C. ; Newby, R. ; Robinson, S. ; Yajnik, C.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Geographical variation in neonatal phenotype
Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand
Date of Publication
BACKGROUND: Recent studies have shown associations between size and body proportions at birth and health outcomes throughout the life cycle, but there are few data on how neonatal phenotype varies in different populations around the world. METHODS: Data from the UK, Finland, India, Sri Lanka, China, DR Congo, Nigeria, and Jamaica (n=22,067) were used to characterize geographical differences in phenotype in singleton, live-born newborns. Measurements included birth weight, placental weight, length, head, chest, abdominal and arm circumferences, and skinfolds. RESULTS: Neonates in Europe were the largest, followed by Jamaica, East Asia (China), then Africa and South Asia. Birth weight varied widely (mean values 2,730-3,570 g), but in contrast, head circumference was similar in all except China (markedly smaller). The main difference in body proportions between populations was the head to length ratio, with small heads relative to length in China and large heads relative to length in South Asia and Africa. CONCLUSIONS: These marked geographical differences in neonatal phenotype need to be considered when investigating determinants of fetal growth, and optimal phenotype for short-term and long-term outcomes.....