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International Journal of Pediatrics
Volume 2018 (2018), Article ID 3624548, 10 pages
Research Article

Skinfold Thickness Measurement in Term Nigerian Neonates: Establishing Reference Values

1Paediatrics Department, Gbagada General Hospital, Gbagada, Nigeria
2Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Nigeria

Correspondence should be addressed to Adaobi Uzoamaka Solarin; moc.liamg@432ralosa

Received 26 July 2017; Revised 22 October 2017; Accepted 19 November 2017; Published 1 January 2018

Academic Editor: Lavjay Butani

Copyright © 2018 Olanike Abosede Olutekunbi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Skin fold thickness (SFT) measurement is a reliable, cheap, simple, noninvasive method of body fat estimation at all ages including the neonatal period. Objective. To determine reference values of biceps, triceps, subscapular, and suprailiac skinfold thickness measurements in term Nigerian newborns. Method. A prospective cross-sectional study over a six-month period (Dec 2010–May 2011) was carried out on term and healthy neonates delivered between 37 and 41 weeks. The anthropometric measurements were taken within the first 48 hours of life including the skinfold thickness. The skinfold thickness measurements were taken at four sites, namely, triceps, biceps, subscapular, and suprailiac, using Harpenden skinfold calipers. The mean of two readings was recorded. Result. A total of one thousand one hundred and sixty-eight neonates were studied. The birth weight ranged between 2000 g and 5000 g with a mean birth weight of the neonates at  g. The mean birth weight of the males () was significantly higher than that of females () (). Female neonates had higher mean values of triceps, subscapular, and suprailiac skinfold thickness (, resp.) while male neonates had higher mean value of biceps skinfold thickness (). Females also had higher mean values of the sum of skinfold thicknesses at all four sites and the sum at the two truncal sites at every stratified gestational age. Conclusions. The sex specific percentile chart developed for skinfold thickness measurements can be used to detect deviation from the reference population such that infants who are at risk of nutritional or health problems are identified early, and intervention is instituted promptly.