Prevalence and risk factors associated with low birth weight babies-a cross sectional study

Gurunathan Gopal


Background: Babies with a birth weight of less than 2500 grams, irrespective of the period of their gestation are termed as low birth weight (LBW) babies. Despite consistent efforts to improve the quality of maternal and child health, more than twenty million LBW babies are born every year throughout the world. The present study was to explore the effects of various maternal risk factors associated with low birth-weight of institutionally delivered newborns. Across the world, neonatal mortality is 20 times more likely for LBW babies compared to normal birth weight (NBW) babies (>2.5 kg).

Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted in neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of ACS Medical College and Hospital, Chennai from December 2019 to October 2020. Altogether 350 babies were taken who were delivered at ACS hospital.

Results: The number of times of ANC attendance was also significantly associated with LBW, odds ratio (OR)=1.296, and p=0.001. The number of meals was not associated with LBW OR=0.946, and p=0.831. The gestational age assessed as completed weeks of pregnancy was significantly associated with LBW OR=3.302; p=0.00001.

Conclusions: This study suggests that there are several factors interplaying which lead to LBW babies. Socio-demographic factors (maternal age and gestational age) and antenatal care are more important.


Low birth weight, Maternal and child health services, Maternal risk factors, Newborn

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