Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Centile charts for birthweight for gestational age for Scottish singleton births

Sandra Bonellie1*, James Chalmers2, Ron Gray3, Ian Greer4, Stephen Jarvis5 and Claire Williams1

Author Affiliations

1 School of Accountancy, Economics and Statistics, Napier University, 10 Colinton Road, Edinburgh, EH10 5DT, UK

2 ISD, Gyle Square, 1 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 9EB, UK

3 NPEU, University of Oxford, Old Road Campus, Headington, Oxford, OX3 7LF, UK

4 Hull York Medical School, University of York, York, UK

5 Sir James Spence Institute of Child Health, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Queen Victoria Road, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 4LP, UK

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BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2008, 8:5  doi:10.1186/1471-2393-8-5

Published: 25 February 2008



Centile charts of birthweight for gestational age are used to identify low birthweight babies. The charts currently used in Scotland are based on data from the 1970s and require updating given changes in birthweight and in the measurement of gestational age since then.


Routinely collected data of 100,133 singleton births occurring in Scotland from 1998–2003 were used to construct new centile charts using the LMS method.


Centile charts for birthweight for sex and parity groupings were constructed for singleton birth and compared to existing charts used in Scottish hospitals.


Mean birthweight has been shown to have increased over recent decades. The differences shown between the new and currently used centiles confirm the need for more up-to-date centiles for birthweight for gestational age.