Keywords : Low birthweight neonates


Wafaa F. Tawfeeq; Saman A.Hashim

The Medical Journal of Basrah University, 2012, Volume 30, Issue 1, Pages 40-48
DOI: 10.33762/mjbu.2012.64023

Background: Low birthweight (less than 2500 gm) is a reliable indicator in monitoring and evaluating the success
of maternal and child health programs. Low birthweight neonates are at greater risk of having disability and diseases
such as cerebral palsy, visual problems, learning disabilities and respiratory problems.
Objectives: To assess the risk factors affecting the delivery of low birthweight neonates at the Maternity Hospitals in
Basrah City.
Methods: This study was a hospital-based case-control study by collecting and investigating the data by direct
interview, antenatal care record, and medical records, during the period from 1st November 2010 to the 29th April
2011. A total of 510 live births neonates were studied, 255 low birthweight neonates (50%) compared with 255
normal birthweight neonates (50%).The data were collected by direct interview with the mothers, medical records
and some anthropometric measurements taken from both mother (prepartum) and her neonate after birth, by using
specially designed questionnaire form for this purpose.
Results: The results showed that the overall mean birthweight/gm and standard deviation were (1998.6±313.0) for
the Low birthweight group. Highly significant risk factors identified in this study, which include type of delivery,
weight of mothers prepartum less than 60 kilograms with height less than 150 cm and mother with history of preterm
delivery, complications during pregnancy such as pregnancy-induced hypertension, pre-eclampsia, urinary tract
infection, premature rupture of membrane and hemorrhage, stressful life events and decrease of hemoglobin level
with P-value <0.0001. While significant risk factors identified with p-value <0.05 included multiparity and placenta
previa. Other factors that didn’t show significant association include age of mother, education, occupation, with pvalue
> 0.05.
Conclusions and recommendations: This study suggests that low birthweight could be the result of preterm or
intrauterine growth retardation. Factors amenable to intervention, such as birth interval, maternal nutrition,
maternal weight and smoking habits, appeared to have a role in low birthweight. Extended community-based studies,
preferable on national basis, are recommended to evaluate the actual picture of the problem of Low birthweight in