Maternal Risk Factors Associated with Low Birth Weight: A Case Control Study
Introduction: Low birth weight is a common contri-butor to neonatal and infant mortality and has a known association with childhood morbidity and long term developmental sequelae.
Objective: To evaluate impact of maternal socio-economic, nutritional, medical and obstetric factors on the low birth weights.
Design: Case control study.
Setting and Duration: Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Lady Wellingdon and Lady Aitchison Hospitals, Lahore from February to July 2005.Patients and Methods: One hundred and eighty low birth weight (wt < 2500 gms) live new - born babies were enrolled as cases against same number of good weight babies (wt ³ 2500 gms) as controls. Informa-tion was obtained directly from mothers using a pre-
tested structured questionnaire and was analysed using SPSS version 10.
Results: The mean weight of cases and controls was 1760 gms and 3100 gms respectively. Fifty nine per-cent of cases were preterm. The factors like teenage mothers (p-value 0.007), maternal education (p-value < 0.025, OR - 1.61), antenatal booking (p-value < 0.001, OR - 3.38), less than three antenatal visits (p-value < 0.001), pregnancy induced medical ailments (p-value < 0.001) and maternal anaemia during preg-nancy (p-value < 0.001) were significant risk factors causing low birth weight.
Conclusion: It is concluded from this study that teen-age, illiteracy, poor antenatal care, maternal anemia, and pregnancy induced medical ailments have strong association with low birth weight. To overcome these problems, the mother and child health care services in the country should receive special attention.
Key Words: Low birth weight, maternal risk factors, Neonatal mortality, Infant mortality.
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