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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 302-308

Socio-economic and nutritional determinants of low birth weight in India


1 Department of Public Health Sciences, Centre for Epidemiology and Community Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
2 Australian Centre for Research into Injury in Sport and its Prevention (ACRISP), Federation University Australia, Ballarat, Australia

Correspondence Address:
Manzur Kader
Research Officer, Centre for Epidemiology and Community Medicine, Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institute, Tomtebodavägen 18A, 171 29, Solna, Stockholm, Sweden

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1947-2714.136902

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Background: Low birth weight (LBW) is an important risk factor for childhood morbidity and mortality, consequently an important public health concern. Aim: This study aims to identify significant socio-economic and nutritional determinants associated with LBW in India. Materials and Methods: Data from 2005 to 2006 National Family Health Survey-3 (NFHS-3) of India was analyzed. A total of 20,946 women (15-49 years) who gave birth at least once 5 years preceding the NFHS-3 were included in this study. Infant's LBW (<2500 grams) as outcome variable was examined in association with all independent predictors as infant's sex, maternal household wealth status, caste, age, education, body mass index (BMI), stature, anemia level, parity, inter-pregnancy interval, antenatal care received, and living place. Results: Almost 20% of the infants were born with LBW. Mother's low education level, BMI <18.5, short stature (height <145 centimeters) and lack of antenatal visits (<4 visits) were significant predictors of LBW. Male gender has a protective effect against LBW. Conclusion: Maternal education, nutritional status and antenatal care received are key determinants that need to be addressed to reduce prevalence of LBW in India. Continue implementation of multifaceted health promotion interventions are needed to address these factors effectively.


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