Morbidity and mortality of low birth weight babies in early neonatal period in a rural area teaching hospital, Telangana, India


  • Jayalakshmi Pabbati Department of Pediatrics, Mediciti Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad, Telangana, India
  • Preethi Subramanian Department of Pediatrics, Mediciti Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad, Telangana, India
  • Mahesh Renikuntla Department of Pediatrics, Mediciti Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad, Telangana, India



Low birth weight, Preterm, Morbidity, Mortality


Background: A baby’s weight at birth is a strong indicator of newborn health and nutrition. Low birth weight (LBW) babies are more susceptible to morbidities and mortality in early neonatal period than normal birth weight (NBW) babies. Among neonatal deaths, 80% occurs in LBW / preterm babies and 75% of total neonatal deaths occur in early neonatal period. The present study was undertaken to know the incidence and early neonatal outcome of LBW babies in rural area.

Methods: Prospective observational study was conducted in babies born with <2.5 kg (LBW) birth weight.

Results: The incidence of LBW babies was 25.07% with almost an equal contribution from preterm (50.46%) and Term Intra Uterine Growth Restricted (IUGR) (49.53%) babies. The most common morbidity found in LBW babies was Jaundice (40.09%) followed by respiratory distress (18.16%), sepsis (8.72%) and apnea (4.48%). Preterm-LBW babies had more morbidities in terms of apnea (100%), birth asphyxia (88.88%), respiratory distress (87.01%%), sepsis (80.55%) and jaundice (67.64%). Early neonatal mortality was 21.22 per 1000 live births. Mortality was 100% for babies <1 kg in birth weight, 16% in 1-1.499 kg group and 0.75% in 1.5-2.499 kg group in early neonatal period. According to gestational age, mortality in preterm-LBW babies was 88.88% and 11.11% in Term IUGR-LBW babies. The most common cause of death in LBW babies was birth asphyxia (44.44%) followed by hyaline membrane disease (HMD) (33.33%).

Conclusions: The present study revealed that preterm babies contributed 50% to incidence of LBW babies. Morbidity and mortality in LBW babies were inversely related to birth weight and gestational age.


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