Perinatal mortality and morbidity among low birth weight babies


  • Riza Sangamam Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, KMCT Medical College, Kozhikode, Kerala


Low birthweight, Perinatal mortality, Morbidity, Preterm


Background:This study was conducted to assess the perinatal mortality and morbidity among Low Birth Babies (LBW) and to determine the associated maternal health and sociodemographic factors.

Methods:This was a hospital based cross sectional observational study conducted over a period of three years. All the babies (1002) with birth weight ˂2500 gm but >1000 gm born during this period and their mothers were included in the study. Babies were followed up for one week after birth and perinatal mortality and morbidity were assessed.

Results:The perinatal mortality rate among LBW babies was 124.7/1000 babies. Very low birth weight babies (˂1500 g) had 10 times mortality rates than babies with birth weight between 1.5-2.5 kg. Preterm and growth restricted babies had the worst perinatal outcomes. The most common perinatal complication was hyperbilirubinemia (16.77%) followed by hypoglycemia (14.99%) and Hyaline membrane disease (14.86%). Preterm babies had higher rates of birth asphyxia, hypoglcemia, hyperbilirubinemia and neonatal ICU admissions (P ˂0.001).Intrauterine growth restricted babies had better perinatal outcomes than preterm babies. Majority of the mothers (96.87%) belonged to low socio-economic status. The most common maternal complications associated with LBW were anemia (43.36%) and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (17.6%).

Conclusions:Low birth weight babies had higher perinatal mortality and morbidity rates. To decrease the incidence of low birth weight, measures to improve the general health and nutrition of mothers should be employed. Appropriate referral of high risk pregnancies and delivery in centres with good neonatal facilities should be engaged.


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How to Cite

Sangamam, R. (2017). Perinatal mortality and morbidity among low birth weight babies. International Journal Of Community Medicine And Public Health, 2(1), 51–58. Retrieved from



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