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Objectives: To determine the relationship between postnatal foot lengths and estimated gestational age (EGA) in relation to intrauterine growth patterns determined at birth among Nigerian neonates.
Design: Hospital-based, cross-sectional.
Setting: Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu, Nigeria.
Participants: 260 neonates with EGA 30- 42 weeks within 48 hours of life.
Interventions: Postnatal foot lengths (FL) were measured with Vernier digital calliper in millimetres. The intra-uterine growth pattern was determined using the Lubchenco chart. Pearson correlation and regression analysis tests were performed.
Main outcome measures: Postnatal foot length in relation to Intra-Uterine Growth Pattern
Results: The mean postnatal FL had a strong positive correlation with the EGA from 30 through 42 weeks (r = 0.855, p < 0.001). The overall mean foot length for preterm neonates was 65.44 (6.92) mm, while that of term neonates was 77.92 (4.24) mm. The linear regression equation was generated as: EGA = 9.43 + (0.37 × FL), p < 0.001. The EGA as measured by FL had the highest positive correlation with Small for Gestational Age (SGA) intra-uterine-growth pattern, followed by Appropriate for Gestational Age (AGA) and least by Large for Gestational Age (LGA) respectively (r = 0.936> 0.861 > 0.666).
Conclusion: The postnatal foot length correlated well with estimated gestational age, and the correlation was best among SGA infants.