Ethnicity and fetal growth in Fiji

Matthews Mathai, Mary Schramm, Wame Baravilala, Viswanathan Shankar, Belavendra Antonisamy, Lakshmanan Jeyaseelan, Staffan Bergström

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Indigenous Fijians and the descendants of Asian Indians constitute the two major ethnic groups in Fiji. There are differences between the two groups in perinatal outcomes. Aims: To study fetal growth patterns in the two ethnic groups and to ascertain the influence, if any, of ethnicity on fetal growth. Methods: A longitudinal study was carried out on women with sure dates, regular cycles, no known risk factor complicating pregnancy and having their first antenatal examination before 20 weeks. Symphysis-fundal height, biparietal diameter, abdominal circumference and femur length were measured by the same observer at recruitment and at follow-up visits until delivery. Infant measurements were recorded soon after birth. Results: Indian babies were on average 795 g lighter, had 5.5 days shorter mean length of gestation and slower growth of biparietal diameter and abdominal circumference when compared to Fijian babies. Ethnicity of the mother was significantly associated with the difference in growth even after adjusting for other factors known to influence fetal growth. Conclusion: Given the ethnic differences in fetal growth and maturation, it would be appropriate to use ethnicity-specific standards for perinatal care in Fiji.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)318-321
Number of pages4
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Ethnicity
  • Fetal growth
  • Fijian
  • Indian

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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