BackgroundUmbilical cord (UC) abnormalities are related to neurological outcome and death; specific molecular factors that might be involved are, as yet, unknown; however, protein-coding genes insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1C (CDKN1C) have been identified as potential candidates.MethodsAn analytical observational study was carried out. Newborn UCs were collected, along with their clinical and morphological features. Immunohistochemical analysis was made on paraffin-embedded sections and quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) was performed in fresh UC tissue for the assessment of gene expression.ResultsA total of 100 newborns were included. A significant association was found between long UC and prematurity [odds ratio (OR) 9] and long UC and respiratory distress (OR 4.04). Gestational diabetes (OR 8.55) and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP) (OR 4.71) were found to be related to short UCs. The frequency for abnormal UC length was higher than expected. UC length was positively correlated with maternal, newborn and placental weight. No statistical association was found between IGF2 and CDKN1C (p57) expression and UC length; however, there was a tendency for higher CDKN1C expression in short UCs, while, on the contrary, higher IGF2 expression for long UCs.ConclusionUC length was observed to be associated with maternal and newborn complications. Protein expression, messenger RNA (mRNA) activity and the activity of said genes seem to be related to UC length.