Predictors of low birth weight: a retrospective study from rural India

Shriram V. Gosavi, Anil R. Koparkar


Background: The World Health Organization (WHO) has defined the term Low Birth Weight (LBW) as birth weight less than 2500 grams. Nearly, 50% of neonatal deaths occur among LBW babies. The survivors among them are at a high risk of developing malnutrition, recurrent infections and Neuro-developmental handicaps. The purpose of this study was to find out the proportion of low birth weight and to study the correlates of low birth weight from the available data in a health care facility.

Methods: The present study was included the retrospective analysis of delivered cases in rural hospital, Bhidi dist. Wardha.Data were collected from delivery register maintained by hospital staff. The delivery register contain the information about maternal age, parity, child birth weight and sex of child. Over a period of 5 years data from January 2005 to January 2010 was taken for study purpose.

Results: An analysis of 455 live births revealed that, Average birth weight of all new-borns was 2.67 ± 0.42 kg and 24.4% of new-borns were low birth weight babies and this percentage was higher for female new-borns (63.1). It was seen that the proportion of low birth weight was higher in teenage pregnancies. Maternal age & sex of the new-born was found to be significantly associated with low birth weight.

Conclusion: It is observed that low birth weight proportion was higher in teenage pregnancies & primiparous women, therefore, along with teenage pregnancies & primiparous mothers need special attention during the antenatal check-ups.


Low birth weight, Predictors, Rural

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