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BACKGROUND: The INTERGROWTH-21st sex and gestational age (GA) specific newborn size standards (IG-NS) are intended to complement the World Health Organization Child Growth Standards (WHO-GS), which are not GA-specific. We examined the implications of using IG-NS at birth and WHO-GS at postnatal ages in longitudinal epidemiologic studies. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to quantify the extent to which standardised measures of newborn size and growth are affected when using WHO-GS versus IG-NS at birth among term-born infants. METHODS: Data from two prenatal trials in Bangladesh (n = 755) and The Gambia (n = 522) were used to estimate and compare size at birth and growth from birth to 3 months when using WHO-GS only ('WHO-GS') versus IG-NS at birth and WHO-GS postnatally ('IG-NS'). Mean length-for-age (LAZ), weight-for-age (WAZ) and head circumference-for-age (HCAZ), and the prevalence of undernutrition (stunting: LAZ 60% of infants across all anthropometric indices. CONCLUSIONS: Using IG-NS at birth with WHO-GS postnatally is acceptable for full-term infants but may give a misleading interpretation of growth trajectories among early- and late-term infants.

Original publication




Journal article


Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol

Publication Date



INTERGROWTH-21st newborn size standards, World Health Organization child growth standards, anthropometry, growth, newborn, term-born