Birthweight, Gestational Age and Neonatal Morbidity in Four Italian Centres
Since their first publication, centiles of birthweight for length of gestation have been presented as a helpful device in the identifi-fication of newborn infants at high risk of neonatal morbidity and mortality (Lubchenco et al., 1963, Lubchenco, 1976). On the other hand, the value of the concept of ‘light for dates’ infants has been debated both for immediate clinical purposes and for epidemiological investigations (Thomson and Billewicz, 1976, Neligan, 1976). Particulary, as far as neonatal and perinatal mortality are concerned, it has been shown the common use of centiles of birthweight for gestation is inadequate, leading to the classification of many ‘low risk’ babies as ‘high risk’ and vice versa (Goldstein and Peckam, 1976, Hellier and Goldstein, 1979).
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