BMI Is a Better Body Proportionality Measure than the Ponderal Index and Weight-for-Length for Preterm Infants

Ferguson et al, Neonatology 2018


Background: Clinicians have observed preterm infants in the neonatal intensive care unit growing disproportionally; however, the only growth charts that have been available were from preterm infants born in the 1950s which utilized the ponderal index. Prior to creating the recently published BMI curves, we found only 1 reference justifying the use of the ponderal index. 

Objectives: To determine the best measure of body proportionality for assessing growth in US preterm infants. 

Conclusions: BMI is the appropriate measure of body proportionality for preterm infants, contrary to current practice.