Ponderal index: a better definition of the 'at risk' group with intrauterine growth problems than birth-weight for gestational age in term infants

Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol. 1991 Feb;31(1):17-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1479-828x.1991.tb02755.x.


A study was undertaken at Nepean Hospital, Penrith to compare the outcome of pregnancies with growth retarded infants; 2,508 consecutive births were analyzed between August 1, 1989 and April 30, 1990. A comparison of outcome was made between infants whose birth-weight for gestational age was below the tenth percentile and infants who had a low ponderal index from 37 weeks' gestation. The Caesarean section delivery and fetal distress rates were significantly higher for infants with a low ponderal index than for infants with a low birth-weight. Ponderal index appears to be a better measure of infants with intrauterine growth problems than birth-weight percentiles.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Binomial Distribution
  • Birth Weight*
  • Body Weight*
  • Cesarean Section
  • Female
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / diagnosis*
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / physiopathology
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight / growth & development
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature / growth & development
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk Factors