To provide an updated US birth weight for gestational age reference corrected for likely errors in last menstrual period (LMP)-based gestational age dating, as well as means and SDs, to enable calculation of continuous and categorical measures of birth weight for gestational age.
From the 2009–2010 US live birth files, we abstracted singleton births between 22 and 44 weeks of gestation with at least 1 nonmissing estimate of gestational age (ie, LMP or obstetric/clinical) and birth weight. Using an algorithm based on birth weight and the concordance between these gestational age estimates, implausible LMP-based gestational age estimates were either excluded or corrected by using the obstetric/clinical estimate. Gestational age– and sex-specific birth weight means, SDs, and smoothed percentiles (3rd, 5th, 10th, 90th, 95th, 97th) were calculated, and the 10th and 90th percentiles were compared with published population-based references.
A total of 7 818 201 (99% of eligible) births were included. The LMP-based estimate of gestational age comprised 85% of the dataset, and the obstetric/clinical estimate comprised the remaining 15%. Cut points derived from the current reference identified ∼10% of births as ≤10th and ≥90th percentiles at all gestational weeks, whereas cut points derived from previous US-based references captured variable proportions of infants at these thresholds within the preterm and postterm gestational age ranges.
This updated US-based birth weight for gestational age reference corrects for likely errors in gestational age dating and allows for the calculation of categorical and continuous measures of birth size.