Maternal high-risk factors and severity of growth deficit in small for gestational age infants

Arsenio Spinillo, Ezio Capuzzo, Gaia Piazzi, Sabrina Nicola, Laura Colonna, Angela Iasci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The relationship between maternal risk factors and severity of fetal growth deficit was evaluated in a population of 613 small for gestational age (SGA) infants and 784 appropriately grown controls. The severity of growth deficit among SGA infants was expressed as 'fetal growth ratio' (observed/expected birthweight, where expected birthweight is the mean birth-weight of the Italian population for a given gestational age). In multivariate models, pree-clampsia was the only maternal high-risk factor positively correlated with a more severe growth deficit among SGA infants. Chronic cardiac or renal maternal diseases and female fetal sex were associated with mild forms of SGA, thus showing an inverse relationship with severity of growth deficit. Finally, the association between maternal smoking in pregnancy, low (<0.2 kg/week) maternal weight gain, low (<50 kg) pre-pregnancy weight, severe (Hb, <8 g/dl) maternal anaemia, low education (<6th grade), history of a previous low birth-weight infant or recurrent spontaneous abortion, nulliparity and SGA was homogeneous across the severity strata of fetal growth deficit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-43
Number of pages9
JournalEarly Human Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1994


  • Growth deficit
  • Risk factors
  • Small for gestational age

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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