Objective: To determine the frequency, demographic profile and association with maternal risk factors of low birth weight babies.
Study Design: Cross-sectional study.
Place and Duration of Study: Neonatal Unit and Obstetrics/Gynaecology department of Combined Military Hospital Kharian, Pakistan, from Mar 2013 to Feb 2014.
Material and Methods: This study was conducted over a period of 12 months. All alive, singleton, low birth weight (LBW) neonates delivered in this hospital over this period were included in study. The sample size was calculated by WHO STEPS sample size calculator Information regarding the neonate and mother was collected in a predesigned proforma. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze and describe data. Frequency and percentage were calculated for categorical (qualitative) variables. Qualitative and quantitative variables were presented in the form of tables. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 17. Chi-square/fisher’s exact test was applied for the association of different variables. A p-value less than 0.05 considered as a significant value.
Results: Out of total 2810 deliveries, 365 (12.98%) were LBW. Male and female distribution was 45.2% and 55% (p-value 0.070). Weight and gestational age relationship parameter showed that 38.6% were Full term LBW (low birth weight) and 53.1% were Preterm AGA (appropriate for gestational age) whilst 8.0% were Preterm SGA (p-value 0.001). Distribution of birth weight alone parameter showed <1000 gm babies 3.3%, 1-1.499 kg 11.2%, 1.5-1.999 kg 21.1% and 2.0-2.499 kg 64.4% (p-value 0.000). Among maternal risk factors, maternal age between 20-29 years contributed 58.90% to LBW babies. Only 44.65% were delivered to para1 mothers (p-value 0.154). Mothers having anemia were 53.15% (p-value 0.003), PIH (pregnancy induced hypertension) 33.42% (p-value 0.029) APH (ante partum hemorrhage) 8.21% (p-value 0.005) and UTI (urinary tract infection) 11.50% (p-value 0.001). It is observed that 52.60% mothers of LBW babies had irregular/no antenatal visits (p-value 0.001).
Conclusion: Several risk factors like preterm delivery, maternal age, irregular antenatal check up, anemia, UTI, APH and PIH as significant determinants of LBW, were identified in our study.
Keywords : Incidence, Low birth weight, Maternal risk factors, Pakistan.