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Designing the new UK–WHO growth charts to enhance assessment of growth around birth

Abstract

The decision to adopt the new WHO standard in the UK necessitated substantial changes to the neonatal section of the chart, including separation of the preterm UK birth weight reference from the WHO standard. The evidence-based design process has led to several novel features that could be generally applied in other chart designs, and revealed uncertainties leading to inconsistencies in charting. Failing to plot the birth weight of term infants at age 0 can lead to spurious centile crossing in the early weeks of life, particularly among infants at the extreme of gestation. Users will need training to use the charts, but this should improve overall understanding and the use of charts.

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