Socio-economic and nutritional determinants associated with low birth weight among urban and rural Rajasthan: a case control study

Mukesh Kabra, Mukul Dixit, Anjana Verma, Jeetendra Hirani, Medha Mathur


Background: A baby’s weight at birth is associated with mortality risk during the first year, developmental problems in childhood and also with the risk of various diseases in adulthood.

Methods: It was a hospital-based case control study conducted from 1st January 2019 to 30th June 2020 in a tertiary care hospital in Udaipur, Rajasthan. Mothers who delivered low birth weight baby (LBW) at the hospital, during the study period were taken as cases and controls were selected after matching. Total 86 cases and 172 controls were included in the study. A pre-structured questionnaire was used to collect information given by mothers.

Results: Mean age was 28±4.51 years. Low birth weight was found to be significantly associated with sociodemographic variables such as rural area, caste and lower socio-economic status. Birth weight was also associated with weight gain during pregnancy, iron folic acid and calcium supplements and protein powder intake.

Conclusions: Sociodemographic variables and maternal nutrition are the key determinants that need to be addressed to reduce the prevalence of LBW in India. Implementation of health promotion strategies are needed to address these factors effectively.



India, Low birth weight, Nutrition, Socio economic

Full Text:



Lawn JE, Gravett MG, Nunes TM, Rubens CE, Stanton C, GAPPS Review Group. Global report on preterm birth and stillbirth (1 of 7): definitions, description of the burden and opportunities to improve data. BMC Pregnanc Childbirth. 2010;10(S1):S1.

United Nations Children’s Fund and WHO. Low birth weight country, regional and global estimates, New York. 2004. Available from: Accessed on 13 November 2020.

Idris MZ, Gupta A, Mohan U, Srivastava AK, Das V. Maternal health and low birth weight among institutional deliveries. Cardiovasc Disord. 2000;8(3):37-5.

Gebremedhin M, Ambaw F, Admassu E, Berhane H. Maternal associated factors of low birth weight: a hospital based cross-sectional mixed study in Tigray, Northern Ethiopia. BMC Pregnanc Childbirth. 2015;15(1):222.

Hollo O, Rautava P, Korhonen T, Helenius H, Kero P, Sillanpää M. Academic achievement of small-for-gestational-age children at age 10 years. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2002;156(2):179-87.

Barker DJ, Forsén T, Uutela A, Osmond C, Eriksson JG. Size at birth and resilience to effects of poor living conditions in adult life: longitudinal study. BMJ. 2001;323(7324):1273.

Borghese B, Sibiude J, Santulli P, Pillet MC, Marcellin L, Brosens I, et al. Low birth weight is strongly associated with the risk of deep infiltrating endometriosis: results of a 743 case-control study. PLoS One. 2015;10(2):e0117387.

Pandey VK, Aggarwal P, Kakkar R. Modified BG Prasad Socio-economic Classification, Update-2019. Indian J Community Health. 2019;31(1).

World Health Organization. UNICEF-WHO low birth weight estimates: levels and trends 2000-2015. World Health Organization; 2019. Available from: Accessed on 20 November 2020.

Som S Jr, Pal M, Adak DK, Gharami AK, Bharati S, Bharati P. Effect of socio-economic and biological variables on birth weight in Madhya Pradesh. Malays J Nutr. 2004;10:159-71.

Khatun S, Rahman M. Socio-economic determinants of low birth weight in Bangladesh: a multivariate approach. Bangladesh Med Res Counc Bull. 2008;34:81-6.

Kiran A, Garg BS. A study of factors affecting LBW. Indian J Community Med. 2014;25:57-61.

Mavalankar DV, Gray RH, Trivedi CR. Risk factors for preterm and term LBW in Ahmedabad. Int J Epidemiol. 2002;21:263-7.

Kramer M. Determinants of low birth weight: methodological assessment and meta-analysis. Bull World Health Organ. 2007;65:663-737.

Johnson AR, Surekha A, Dias A, William NC, Agrawal T. Low birth weight and its risk factors in a rural area of South India. Int J Community Med Public Health. 2015;2:339-44.

Xiong X, Buekens P, Alexander S, Demianczuk N, Wollast E. Anemia during pregnancy and birth outcome: A meta-analysis. Am J Perinatol. 2000;17:137-46

Government of India. Bulletin on rural health statistics in New Delhi: Department of Family Welfare, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, 2007. Available from: Accessed on 20 November 2020.