Measurement of neonatal skinfold thickness--is it of any clinical relevance?

Indian Pediatr. 1991 Nov;28(11):1291-7.


The skinfold thickness (SFT) was measured in 750 Punjabi newborns at triceps and subscapular sites using a Harpenden's Caliper. It was correlated with various maternal and neonatal factors. SFT increased with increasing gestation but showed a decline after 40 weeks. There was a positive correlation of SFT with birth weight and length of the baby in both sexes. The correlation co-efficient for all these parameters was 0.9. The female babies had a higher SFT at all weight and length groups. Increasing maternal age, parity, weight and height all influenced the neonatal SFT positively. Mothers with higher SFT produced babies with more skinfold thickness. Similar relationship was observed between birth weight and these maternal factors. While severe pre-eclampsia and eclampsia led to a significant fall in SFT, hypertension alone did not affect it. A higher than normal SFT was seen among infants of diabetic mothers. It was concluded that the SFT does not give any additional information than that provided by the commonly measured parameters like birth weight and length.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Birth Weight
  • Body Height
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn / physiology*
  • Infant, Small for Gestational Age / physiology
  • Male
  • Mothers
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Skinfold Thickness*