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Background: Low birth weight (LBW) is an important public health problem in India significantly contributing to increased morbidity and mortality among infants and young children. The aims and objectives of our study were to assess the magnitude of LBW and socio-cultural factors influencing LBW among babies delivered at Goa Medical College. This would in turn provide evidence to improve foeto-maternal well-being.
Materials and methods: This hospital based prospective longitudinal study was conducted at Goa Medical College, Bambolim-Goa. A total of 200 inpatient pregnant mothers who delivered at GMC (100 with low birth weight and 100 with normal birth weight babies) between December 2018 to March 2019 were included in this study by consecutive sampling. Data was collected on a predesigned, standardised, structured questionnaire by direct interview of the consenting mothers. The data was analyzed using SPSS version 22. It was expressed in mean, percentage and proportions with standard deviation. Chi-square test was used to find out the association between various categorical variables (p < 0.05 was considered significant). Binary logistic regression analysis was done for significant variables to identify independent predictors of LBW.
Results: The study concluded that age of the mother (OD ratio 17.771), type of family (p value < 0.05), socioeconomic status, educational status of mother, occupation of mother, anaemia and lack of iron and folic acid supplements (IFA) had significant effect on LBW (p value < 0.05).
Conclusion: As the problem of LBW is multi-dimensional, an integrated approach incorporating medical, social, economical and educational measures are necessary for prevention of LBW.
Keywords: Low birth weight; Epidemiological correlates; Foeto-maternal well-being