A cross sectional study on demographic factors affecting low birth weight

Renu Sulakhe, Lavanya K. M. Rao, Nageswara Rao V.


Background: Low birth weight (LBW) is one of the commonest cause for infant and childhood morbidity and mortality. The majority of low birth weight in developing countries is due to intrauterine growth retardation, while most low birth weight in industrialized countries is due to preterm birth. LBW is the single most important factor determining the survival chances of the child. The objectives of the study were to assess the proportion of low birth weight among babies delivered by mothers at a tertiary care hospital and to analyse the relationship between low birth weight and certain socio-demographic factors.

Methods: A cross-sectional study conducted in a tertiary care centre for a period of six months.

Results: The prevalence of LBW was 23.5%. The proportion of mothers having low birth weight was maximum in women aged less than 18 years (35%) and more than 30 years (26.5%). Muslim women had a higher proportion of LBW (28.8%). LBW was more in women belonging to joint family (30.0%), low per capita income group and illiterates.

Conclusions: The prevalence of LBW still continues to be high, almost one fourth of the babies are LBW. Different socio-demographic characteristics of the population are still the important factors determining the occurrence of LBW.


Low birth weight, Demographic factors, Cross-sectional study

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