Development of birthweight and length for gestational age and sex references in Yucatan, Mexico

Am J Hum Biol. 2022 Jun;34(6):e23732. doi: 10.1002/ajhb.23732. Epub 2022 Feb 18.


Objective: To develop sex- and gestational age specific reference percentiles and curves for birth weight and length for Yucatec neonates using data from birth registers of infants born during 2015-2019.

Material and methods: Observational, descriptive, epidemiologic study in a 5-year period including every registered birth in the state of Yucatan, Mexico using birth registries. A total of 158 432 live, physically healthy singletons (76 442 females and 81 990 males) between 25 and 42 weeks of gestation were included in the analysis. We used the LMS method to construct smoothed reference centiles (3rd, 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th, 95th, and 97th) and curves for males and females separately.

Results: Mean maternal age was 26 (SD = 6.22) years. Fifty-two percent of births occurred by vaginal delivery, 37% were firstborn and similar proportions were second (33%) and third or more (30%) born. 5.5% of newborns included in the references corresponds to neonates born before 37 weeks of gestation (5.9% boys and 5.1% girls). In both sexes, the percentage of infants with a birthweight less than 2500 g was 6.7%. The birthweight at the 50th percentile for males and females at 40 weeks of gestation in this cohort was 3256 and 3167 g, respectively, and the corresponding values for birth length were 50.23 and 49.84 cm (mean differences between sexes: 89 g and 0.40 cm, respectively).

Conclusion: The reference percentile and curves developed in this study are useful for research purposes and can help health practitioners to assess the biological status of infants born in Yucatán.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Birth Weight
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Mexico
  • Parturition*
  • Pregnancy
  • Reference Values