Published: 2020-03-21

Association of foot length and gestational maturity in neonates: a single centre study

Hareesh Resu, Vinod Kumar, Atul Goel, Uppu Praveen


Background: As the prematurity is one of the important causes of neonatal mortality/ morbidity in a developing country like India. It is important to differentiate between preterm and term babies and timely refer them to higher centre. But it's difficult to assess the Gestation age (GA) in rural areas by existing methods like New Ballard score, and Antenatal ultrasound (due to lack of equipment and experienced person). So that shows the importance of the alternative, reliable, and easy to use method for identification of term, preterm and post-term babies. The present study carried out to find out the importance of Foot length in the assessment of GA.

Methods: It is a hospital-based prospective observational study, 253 newborns were included in the study. The GA assessment was done by using New Ballard score. Foot length measured by using Digital sliding calliper and birth weight were recorded. Correlation of Fetal foot length with GA and birth weight was made by using appropriate statistical tests.

Results: Among 253 neonates distribution of term, preterm, male and female were 65%, 35 %, 55%, 45% respectively. In this study positive Correlation between foot length and gestational age was found with the “r” value of 0.77. The study also showed a correlation between foot length and weight with the “r” value of 0.74.

Conclusions: To conclude most of the newborn in our study have a good correlation of Foot length with gestational maturity and Birthweight. Derived equation from this study can be used as an alternative to New Ballard score in the estimation of gestational age in poor sources situations like in rural areas and also in emergencies by ASHAs (Accredited Social Health Activist) & Anganwadi workers.


Foot length, Gestational age, New Ballard score, Prematurity

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