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Low-birth-weight babies among hospital deliveries in Nepal: a hospital-based study

Authors Koirala AK, Bhatta DN

Received 13 March 2015

Accepted for publication 21 April 2015

Published 8 June 2015 Volume 2015:7 Pages 581—585


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Elie Al-Chaer

Arun K Koirala,1 Dharma N Bhatta2,3

1Administrative Department, Helping Hands Community Hospital, Chabahil, Kathmandu, 2Department of Public Health, Nobel College, Pokhara University, Kathmandu, Nepal; 3Epidemiology Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Prince of Songkla University, Songkhla, Thailand

Background: Birth weight is an important indicator of a population’s health and is associated with numerous interrelated factors in the infant, mother, and physical environment. The objective of this study was to assess the proportion of low birth weight and identify the associated factors for low birth weight in a liveborn infant among the women in Morang, Nepal.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was carried out from December 2010 to March 2011 among 255 mothers who gave birth during the study period at the Koshi Zonal Hospital, Nepal. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire with face-to-face interviews. Data were analyzed through logistic regression and presented with crude and adjusted odds ratios (AORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
Results: The study showed that the prevalence of low-birth-weight babies was 23.1% (95% CI: 17.9–28.1). The mean (standard deviation) age of mothers was 23.23 (4.18) years. The proportion of low birth weight of previous baby was 3.9% (95% CI: 0.1–7.9), and 15.7% (95% CI: 11.5–20.5) of the respondents had preterm delivery. Nearly one-third (36.1%; 95% CI: 26.4–45.6) of the respondents had >2 years’ gap after the previous delivery. Nonformal employment (AOR: 2.14; 95% CI: 0.523–8.74), vegetarian diet (AOR: 1.47; 95% CI: 0.23–9.36), and no rest during pregnancy (AOR: 1.38; 95% CI: 0.41–4.39) were factors more likely to determine low birth weight. However, none of the variables showed a significant association between low birth weight and other dependent variables.
Conclusion: Low birth weight is an important factor for perinatal morbidity and mortality and is a common problem in the developing world. The proportion of low-birth-weight babies was high in hospital delivery, and ethnicities, Hindu religion, education, nonformal employment, food habit, rest during pregnancy, and type of delivery were found to influence the birth weight. Hence, it is important to strengthen health education services at the basic level of a community to solve this problem.

Keywords: low birth weight, hospital, delivery, Nepal, fetal program, LBW, newborn, parity, pregnancy, preterm delivery

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