, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 227-231
Date: 11 Aug 2013

Small for Gestational Age and Low Birth Weight Term Admissions to a Tertiary Perinatal Centre in Northern Queensland, Australia

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Northern Queensland is unique in that the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander (ATSI) communities is higher than the rest of Australia. The aim of this study was to describe the characteristics of term admissions of low birth weight (LBW; birth weight < 2,500 g) and small for gestational age (SGA; birth weight < 10th centile) infants to a neonatal unit. All term infants (>37 weeks of gestation) with LBW and/or SGA admitted to the neonatal unit over the last 10 years (2002–2011) were identified and the percentage calculated. Ethnicity was determined by the mother and that information was recorded in the patient’s medical record. The average percentage of LBW ATSI infants was 20.2 ± 5.7 %, which was significantly higher (almost double) compared with the percentage of LBW non-ATSI infants (10.2 ± 1.9 %; p < 0.001). The average percentage of SGA ATSI infants was also significantly higher than the percentage of SGA non-ATSI infants (31.8 ± 6.0 vs. 18.6 ± 2.8 %, respectively; p < 0.001). The mean percentage of LBW indigenous infants admitted to the neonatal unit was significantly higher than non-ATSI infants.