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Heel and cord blood datasets for Bangladesh and Zambia cohorts

Cite this dataset

Hawken, Steven (2023). Heel and cord blood datasets for Bangladesh and Zambia cohorts [Dataset]. Dryad.


Background: Accurate estimates of gestational age (GA) at birth are important for preterm birth surveillance but can be challenging to obtain in low-income countries. Our objective was to develop machine learning models to accurately estimate GA shortly after birth using clinical and metabolomic data.

Methods: We derived three GA estimation models using ELASTIC NET multivariable linear regression using metabolomic markers from heel-prick blood samples and clinical data from a retrospective cohort of newborns from Ontario, Canada. We conducted internal model validation in an independent cohort of Ontario newborns, and external validation in heel prick and cord blood sample data collected from newborns from prospective birth cohorts in Lusaka, Zambia, and Matlab, Bangladesh. Model performance was measured by comparing model-derived estimates of GA to reference estimates from early pregnancy ultrasound.

Results: Samples were collected from 311 newborns from Zambia and 1176 from Bangladesh. The best-performing model accurately estimated GA within about 6 days of ultrasound estimates in both cohorts when applied to heel prick data (MAE 0.79 weeks (95% CI 0.69, 0.90) for Zambia; 0.81 weeks (0.75, 0.86) for Bangladesh), and within about 7 days when applied to cord blood data (1.02 weeks (0.90, 1.15) for Zambia; 0.95 weeks (0.90, 0.99) for Bangladesh).

Conclusions: Algorithms developed in Canada provided accurate estimates of GA when applied to external cohorts from Zambia and Bangladesh. Model performance was superior in heel prick data as compared to cord blood data.


Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Award: OPP1141535

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Award: OPP1033514