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To the Editor: In reference to the paper "Birth Weight and Gestation as Indices of 'Immaturity' " by Yerushalmy et al (Amer J Dis Child109:43, 1965), I would like to offer a possible explanation of one aspect of the findings which has commanded considerable attention from the authors. That aspect is the inexplicably high proportion of group III children (those weighing over 3 lbs 9 oz, but under 5 lbs, 8 oz and having gestational periods of 37 weeks or longer) who suffered from severe congenital anomalies. Townes et al (J Pediat65:870-879, 1964) have recently formulated an observation commonly made by those familiar with the Trisomy 17-18 syndrome. In their words, "several authors have noted that the Trisomy 17-18 infant is frequently of small size (weight) at birth, despite the fact that the gestation period is generally prolonged (page 877)." More explicitly, from the 40 cases in
DEWEY WJ. BIRTH WEIGHT AND GESTATION AS INDICIES OF IMMATURITY. Am J Dis Child. 1965;110(5):572–573. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1965.02090030596019