Published: 2021-10-27

Burden and risk factors associated with low birth weight among newborns in a tertiary care hospital Karachi, Pakistan

Azeem Khan, Vikram Kumar, Erum Choudry, Sana Niaz, Mareena Ahmad, Nabiha Ali, Syed Rehan Ali


Background: Birth weight is one of the significant determinants of perinatal survival and infant morbidity and illnesses during early childhood. The burden of LBW neonates in the developed world is around 7%, whereas it is more than double at around 16.5% in developing countries.

Methods: The retrospective cross-sectional study was conducted at the Indus Hospital and Health Network, Karachi, Pakistan. Data was extracted through the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) with specific coding related to LBW from 1st January 2019 to 31st December 2020.

Results: Our study showed LBW Disease burden of 7.61% equated to 7% in the developed world while, in contrast with LBW prevalence in the developing countries, 16.5%. Gestational diabetes and pregnancy-induced hypertension are the major maternal risk factors associated with LBW.

Conclusions: In conclusion, we identified key risk factors associated with LBW, all of which are controllable with minimal effort and determination. The situation of LBW in Pakistan requires immediate attention, and prompt interventions in order to reduce the burden of morbidity and mortality in neonates.


Low birth weight; neonates; antenatal care; morbidity; mortality

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