Gestational Dating at Birth by Metabolic Profile
Laura Jelliffe-Pawlowski of the University of California, San Francisco in the U.S. is developing an algorithm to measure gestational age from metabolic markers taken during routine newborn screening. Measuring accurate gestational age is important for assessing infant health such as brain development, but it is challenging in developing countries without specialized equipment and expertise. In Phase I, they developed a statistical model using data on 51 metabolic markers from around 730,000 newborns in the U.S. that predicted gestational age at birth within around an average of one week margin of error. In Phase II, they will further adapt and test their algorithm for use in Malawi and Uganda by using existing data from 500 pregnancies in Malawi and 1000 in Uganda, and also determine its value for identifying newborns at risk of neonatal death or complications.