Document Detail

Risk factors associated with low birth weight of neonates among pregnant women attending a referral hospital in northern Tanzania.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18680958     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
According to the World Health Organization low birth weight (LBW) babies are those born with less than 2500g. A descriptive retrospective cross - sectional study using existing data from a one-year (2001) block of birth registers of 3464 pregnant women was done at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre in Moshi, Tanzania. The objective was to determine factors associated with LBW and their contribution to the problem. Out of 648 pregnant women who were tested for HIV infection 59 (9.1%) were positive for the infection. Twelve (20.3%) of HIV positive women gave birth to LBW neonates. HIV positive women were twice more likely to give birth to LBW infants than HIV negative ones (chi2 = 6.7; P < 0.01; OR = 2.4; 1.1, 5.1). Mothers without formal education were 4 times more likely to give birth to LBW neonates than those who had attained higher education (OR = 3.6; 2.2, 5.9). There was a linear decrease in low birth weights of newborns as fraternal educational level increased (chi2 for linear trend = 42.7; P < 0.01). There was no statistically significant difference among parents' occupations regarding LBW of their newborns. Unmarried mothers were more likely to give birth to LBW neonates as compared to their married counterparts (OR = 1.65; 1.2, 2.2) and the difference was statistically significant (chi2 = 13.0, P < 0.01). Hypertension, pre-eclampsia and eclampsia disease complex had the highest prevalence (46.67%) and population attributable fraction of low birth weight (PAF = 25.2%; CI = 22.0-27.6). Bleeding and schistosomiasis had the same prevalence (33.33%) of LBW babies. Other complications and diseases which contributed to high prevalence of LBW included anaemia (25%), thromboembolic diseases (20%), tuberculosis (17%) and malaria (14.8%). Prevalence of LBW was high in women with premature rupture of membrane (38%), placenta previa (17%) and abruption of placenta (15.5%). LBW was strongly associated with gestational age below 37 weeks (OR = 2; CI = 1.5, 2.8) contributing to 42% of LBW deliveries in the study population (PAF = 42.4%: 25, 55). Pregnant women with malnutrition (BMI < 18) gave the highest proportions 17% of LBW children followed by underweight (BMI; 18-22) who gave 15.5% of LBW neonates. There was a statistical significant difference between the proportions of LBW infants from mothers who did not receive antenatal care (28.6%) and those who attended for the services (13.8%) (chi2 = 8.8; P = 0.01). There is need of increasing promotion of reproductive health services in relation to safe motherhood at community level in order to reduce risk factors of LBW.
J E Siza
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Tanzania journal of health research     Volume:  10     ISSN:  1821-6404     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2008 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-08-06     Completed Date:  2008-12-03     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101479163     Medline TA:  Tanzan J Health Res     Country:  Tanzania    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
National Institute for Medical Research, Mwanza Research Centre, P.O. Box 1462, Mwanza, Tanzania.
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MeSH Terms
Cross-Sectional Studies
Gestational Age
Infant, Low Birth Weight*
Infant, Newborn
Maternal Age
Middle Aged
Risk Factors
Sex Distribution

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