Association between short maternal height and low birth weight: A hospital-based study in Japan

Sachiko Inoue, Hiroo Naruse, Takashi Yorifuji, Tsuguhiko Kato, Takeshi Murakoshi, Hiroyuki Doi, S. V. Subramanian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Anthropometry measurements, such as height and weight, have recently been used to predict poorer birth outcomes. However, the relationship between maternal height and birth outcomes remains unclear. We examined the effect of shorter maternal height on low birth weight (LBW) among 17,150 pairs of Japanese mothers and newborns. Data for this analysis were collected from newborns who were delivered at a large hospital in Japan. Maternal height was the exposure variable, and LBW and admission to the neonatal intensive care unit were the outcome variables. Logistic regression models were used to estimate the associations. The shortest maternal height quartile (131.0-151.9 cm) was related to LBW (OR 1.91 [95% CI 1.64, 2.22]). The groups with the second (152.0-157.9 cm) and the third shortest maternal height quartiles (158.0-160.9 cm) were also related to LBW. A P trend with one quartile change also showed a significant relationship. The relationship between maternal height and NICU admission disappeared when the statistical model was adjusted for LBW. A newborn's small size was one factor in the relationship between shorter maternal height and NICU admission. In developed countries, shorter mothers provide a useful prenatal target to anticipate and plan for LBW newborns and NICU admission.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-359
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Korean Medical Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Low birth weight
  • Maternal height
  • Neonatal intensive care unit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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