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Determining gestational age based on information from the Birth in Brazil study

This study aimed at assessing the validity of different measures for estimating gestational age and to propose the creation of an algorithm for gestational age at birth estimates for the Birth in Brazil survey – a study conducted in 2011-2012 with 23,940 postpartum women. We used early ultrasound imaging, performed between 7-20 weeks of gestation, as the reference method. All analyses were performed stratifying by payment of maternity care (public or private). When compared to early ultrasound imaging, we found a substantial intraclass correlation coefficient of ultrasound-based gestational age at admission measure (0.95 and 0.94) and of gestational age reported by postpartum women at interview measure (0.90 and 0.88) for the public and private payment of maternity care, respectively. Last menstrual period-based measures had lower intraclass correlation coefficients than the first two measures evaluated. This study suggests caution when using the last menstrual period as the first measure for estimating gestational age in Brazil, strengthening the use of information obtained from early ultrasound imaging results.

Gestational Age; Premature Birth; Maternal and Child Health

Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública Sergio Arouca, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz Rua Leopoldo Bulhões, 1480 , 21041-210 Rio de Janeiro RJ Brazil, Tel.:+55 21 2598-2511, Fax: +55 21 2598-2737 / +55 21 2598-2514 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil