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Development and validation of a simple algorithm to estimate common gestational age categories using standard administrative birth record data in Ontario, Canada


Gestational age is often incompletely recorded in administrative records, despite being critical to paediatric and maternal health research. Several algorithms exist to estimate gestational age using administrative databases; however, many have not been validated or use complicated methods that are not readily adaptable. We developed a simple algorithm to estimate common gestational age categories from routine administrative data. We leveraged a population-based registry of all hospital births occurring in Ontario, Canada over 2002-2016 including 1.8 million birth records. In this sample, this simple algorithm had excellent performance compared to a verified measure of gestational age; 87.61% agreement (95% CI: 87.49, 87.74). The accuracy of the algorithm exceeded 98% for all of the gestational age categories. Agreement notably increased over time and was greatest among singleton births and infants born at 2500-2999 g. This study provides a straight-forward algorithm for accurately estimating common gestational age categories that is easily adaptable for use in other countries.



Fitzpatrick T, Wilton AS, Guttmann A. J Obstet Gynaecol. 2021; 41(2):207-11. Epub 2020 Jun 26.

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