A prospective study on the effects and prevalence of maternal, fetal and placental risk factors on low birth weight neonates


  • Raghul Jayaseelan Department of Paediatrics, Rajah Muthiah Medical College, Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Chidambaranathan Sivaprakasam Department of Paediatrics, Rajah Muthiah Medical College, Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Logesvar Palanisamy Department of Paediatrics, Rajah Muthiah Medical College, Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, India




Dubowitz scoring, Low birth weight, Linear growth, Weight gain


Background: Maternal, foetal and placental risk factors have a causative effect in the prematurity and failure to thrive in the early infantile period. Timely diagnosis helps in the anticipation of complications specific to risk factors and managing by impairing their harmful effects on the growth and development of the baby.

Methods: The study was conducted prospectively in Department of Paediatrics, Rajah Muthiah Medical College and Hospital, Chidambaram from January 2018 to June 2018. 361 Low birth weight babies were included. Neonates (n=361) weighing less than 2.5 kilograms with parental informed consent are included, whereas those with severe congenital anomaly, systemic disease or infection were excluded from the study. Various known maternal, placental and foetal risk factors are observed during the course of the study. The gestational age of the neonates was estimated using modified Dubowitz scoring. Other factors like mode of delivery of the babies were also noted. Statistical analysis (descriptive statistics) was done by using Microsoft Word 2010.

Results: Out of 1040 babies born from January to July 2018, 341 babies weight less than 2.5 kg. Out of which 162 (44.88%) babies were born preterm. Of the full term births 52% were low birth weights The risk factors of the neonates are not mutually exclusive. In the present study 28 maternal risk factors were studied. The prevalence of maternal, fetal and placental risk factors was 85.32%, 74.79% and 6.65% respectively.

Conclusions: Period prevalence of low birth weight babies and prematurity is 34.71% and 15.58% respectively. Risk factors are not independent to each other with maternal and foetal risk factors have almost have an effect on nearly three fourths of low birth weight neonates.


Ouyang F, Parker M, Cerda S, Pearson C, Fu L, Gillman MW, et al. Placental weight mediates the effects of prenatal factors on fetal growth: the extent differs by preterm status. Obesity. 2013;21(3):609-20.

Leung JC, Cifra CL, Agthe AG, Sun CCJ, Viscardi RM. Antenatal factors modulate hearing screen failure risk in preterm infants. Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2016;101(1):F56-61.

Kunjunju AM, Gopagondanahalli KR, Chan Y, Sehgal A. Bronchopulmonary dysplasia-associated pulmonary hypertension: Clues from placental pathology. J Perinatol. 2017;37(12):1310-4.

Kazzi SNJ, Jacques SM, Qureshi F, Quasney MW, Kim UO, Buhimschi IA. Tumor necrosis factor-α allele lymphotoxin-α+250 is associated with the presence and severity of placental inflammation among preterm births. Pediatr Res. 2004;56(1):94-8.

Harteman JC, Nikkels PGJ, Kwee A, Groenendaal F, De Vries LS. Patterns of placental pathology in preterm infants with a periventricular haemorrhagic infarction: association with time of onset and clinical presentation. Placenta. 2012;33(10):839-44.

Chiarelli S, Zanardo V, Ouyang F, Parker M, Cerda S, Pearson C, et al. Perinatal factors associated with the neurologic impairment of children born preterm. Obstet Gynecol. 2008;101(1):553-7.

Zanardo V, Vedovato S, Suppiej A, Trevisanuto D, Migliore M, Di Venosa B, et al. Histological inflammatory responses in the placenta and early neonatal brain injury. Pediatr Dev Pathol. 2008;11(5):350-4.

Viscardi RM, Muhumuza CK, Rodriguez A, Fairchild KD, Sun CCJ, Gross GW, et al. Inflammatory markers in intrauterine and fetal blood and cerebrospinal fluid compartments are associated with adverse pulmonary and neurologic outcomes in preterm infants. Pediatr Res. 2004;55(6):1009-17.

Ahankari A, Bapat S, Myles P, Fogarty A, Tata L. Factors associated with preterm delivery and low birth weight: a study from rural Maharashtra, India. F1000Research. 2017;6.

Lei F, Liu D, Shen Y, Zhang L, Li S, Liu X, et al. Study on the influence of pregnancy-induced hypertension on neonatal birth weight. J Investig Med. 2018;66(6):1008-14.

Tellapragada C, Eshwara VK, Bhat P, Acharya S, Kamath A, Bhat S, et al. Risk factors for preterm birth and low birth weight among pregnant Indian women: A hospital-based prospective study. J Prev Med Public Heal. 2016;49(3):165-75.






Original Research Articles