Background: Low birth weight (LBW) is a well-known
factor associated with neonatal mortality and has contributed to a range of poor
health outcomes. Thus, the objective of this study was to determine factors
associated with LBW infants. Methods: A matched case control study was conducted
in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. Data of deliveries were obtained from Total
Hospital Information System and medical records. All registered deliveries from
January to June 2012 were used as sample populations. There were 180 pairs of
cases and controls matched on babies’ gender. Fourteen variables were analyzed:
maternal age, ethnicity, gravida, parity, gestational age, maternal booking
weight, height and body mass index (BMI), history of low birth weight infants,
birth interval, booking hemoglobin levels, hypertension, diabetes mellitus and
mode of delivery. Results: Younger mother (t = 6.947, p < 0.001), lower booking BMI (t = 3.067, p = 0.002), prematurity (t = 12.324, p < 0.001), history of LBW infants (OR = 3.0, p = 0.001), LSCS (OR = 0.06, p = 0.001) and current hypertension (OR = 3.1, p = 0.008) were found significant in bivariate analysis.
Multivariable conditional logistic regression identified younger maternal age
(AOR = 2.9, 95% CI = 1.86 -4.51, p < 0.001), previous history of LBW infants (AOR = 3.7, 95% CI = 1.03 -13.58, p = 0.045), prematurity (AOR = 2.4, 95% CI = 1.79 -3.26, p < 0.001), and current hypertension (AOR = 4.5, 95% CI = 1.06 -19.22, p = 0.041) as significant factors associated with LBW
infants. Conclusion: Younger maternal age, history of LBW infants, prematurity
and hypertension have been recognized as
predictors of LBW infants. The importance of pre-pregnancy screening,
early antenatal booking and proper identification of high risk-mother needs to be strengthened and enforced in effort to reduce
incidence of LBW infants.
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