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Foot length of newborn: Its correlation with gestational age and various anthropometric parameters.

Introduction: Neonatal period is the most vulnerable period of life. Neonatal deaths account for 45% of all deaths among Under-five children. The main causes of neonatal deaths are prematurity and low birth weight (LBW). This study was done to assess newborn foot length and determine its utility in identifying LBW/Preterm Babies. Material and methods: This is a cross sectional study of 500 newborn babies, done in KIMS Hospital and Research Center, Bengaluru. All live newborn infants were included in the study, while babies with lower limb congenital anomalies were excluded from the study. Results: Among 500 newborns, 55.4% (n=277) were male and 44.6 % (n=223) were females. The Mean ± SD at birth for birth weight(BW), Gestational age(GA) head circumference(HC), chest Circumference (CC), length and Foot Length (FL) were 2.74 ± 0.47 kg, 37.95 ± 2.3 weeks, 33.51 ± 1.73 cm, 31.04 ± 1.73 cm, 47.84 ± 2.58 cm and 7.58 ± 0.44 cm, respectively. Males had slightly higher anthropometric values compared to females which were not statistically significant. We observed a significant correlation between FL and other anthropometric variables namely BW, GA, HC, CC and length with R value of 0.9, 0.87, 0.86, 0.81 and 0.84, respectively and a significant P value of <0.0001. For BW and GA, FL had higher correlation with R value of 0.9 and 0.87, respectively while HC, CC and length had lower values. Using Receiver Operative Characteristic (ROC) curve analysis we found that FL ≤ 7.4cm had 97.03% sensitivity and 87.05% specificity in identifying LBW babies. FL ≤ 7.4 cm had 98.81% sensitivity and 79.09% specificity for identifying preterm babies. Conclusion: We observed a significant correlation between foot length and other variables namely birth weight, gestational age, head circumference, chest circumference and length. Foot length had a higher sensitivity and specificity in identifying LBW and Preterm babies, making it a reliable variable in rural setup where weighing facilities, ultrasound and trained personnel are not available.

Author(s): Srinivasa S, Manasa G, Madhu GN