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Evaluation of Impact of Residence at High Altitude on the Anthropometric Measurements of Newborn Babies in Saudi Arabia

Evaluation of Impact of Residence at High Altitude on the Anthropometric Measurements of Newborn Babies in Saudi Arabia

Saied Belal1, Ashraf Albrakati1*, Khalaf Alsharif2, Saad Al-Shehri2, Mohamed Alblihed3, Malik Almuqati4, Anfal Alsharif5, Alaa Albarakati6 and Anas Al-sharif7

1Department of Human Anatomy, College of Medicine, Taif University, P.O. Box 11099, Taif 21944, Saudi Arabia.
2Department of Clinical Laboratories Sciences, College of Applied Medical Sciences, Taif University, P.O. Box 11099, Taif 21944, Saudi Arabia. 
3Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, College of Medicine, Taif University, Taif, Saudi Arabia.
4Department of Clinical Laboratories Sciences, King Fahad Armed Forces Hospital, Saudi Arabia 
5College of Medicine, Umm Alqura University, Makkah, Saudi Arabia.
6Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, Umm Al-Qura University, Al-Qunfudah, Saudi Arabia.
7Department of Pharmacy, Ibn Sena Hospital, Makkah, Saudi Arabia.
 
* Corresponding author: a.albrakati@tu.edu.sa

ABSTRACT

Anthropometric parameters at birth, particularly, the birth weight are widely used indicators of newborn health and neonatal mortality. This study aims to evaluate the effect of residence at high lands on the anthropometric measurements of newborns in Taif province, Saudi Arabia (high altitude area) to provide guidelines for neonatal assessment in high lands. A cross-sectional study included 1534 newborns in Taif city (2000 to 2400 meters above sea level), Western Province of Saudi Arabia, collected during a period of 6 months (from November 2014 through April 2015). The newborns and their mothers were subjected to various measurements of body dimensions and body weight. The data were developed in comparison with the international growth references and national populations residing at sea level. We found that the birth weight and birth length of Taif newborns are significantly lower than those of international standards and those of newborns residing at sea level, in Saudi Arabia. Also, there was a high incidence of low birth weight (15.6%) and preterm babies (10.9%) in Taif newborns. In this study, we concluded that high altitude reduces, significantly, the birth weight and birth length independent of other affecting factors. Other risk factors appear to influence newborn measures at high altitude in much the same way as at other altitudes. The effect of residence at high altitude on the prematurity rate needs further investigations.

 

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

August

Vol. 54, Iss. 4, Pages 1501-2001

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