Bio-social Predictors of Low Birth Weight- A Prospective study at a Tertiary care Hospital of North Karnataka, India
BACKGROUND: Low Birth Weight is a multi-factorial problem of health and social concern Worldwide. India accounts for 40 percent of Low birth weight (LBW) babies of the developing World and more than half of those in Asia. Despite the multitude of services rendered to improve maternal health care, LBW remains a public health problem in India. Objective: To determine bio-social predictors of low birth weight amongst the institutional births in North Karnataka, India. METHODS: A prospective hospital based study was conducted in Belgaum district of north Karnataka during July 2012-March 2013. A total of 426 pregnant women registered within 20 weeks of gestation during July–September 2013; eventually delivered in the same hospital were included in the study. Birth weight was measured by a digital weighing scale of 100 gram accuracy. Data were collected through individual interviews using pretested questionnaire. Data were analyzed by SPSS (16.0 Version). Descriptive statistics and multivariate regression were applied. P value < 0.05 considered significant. RESULTS: Mean age of subjects was 23.2254±3.09 years. About 96.7% were literates. Mean age at first pregnancy was 21.37±2.70 years. Low birth weight was observed amongst 22.5% new born (Mean weight: 2089.58±268.31gm). Almost 10.0% were preterm births. Paternal education and occupation, socio-economic status, religion, maternal blood group and gestation age at delivery were found to be the independent and significant bio-social factors predicting the low birth weight. About 68.0% variations in the birth weight were explained by these predictors. CONCLUSIONS: Low paternal education and occupation (farmers/laborers), low socio-economic status, maternal blood group (A is protective) and prematurity were found to be independent bio-social predicators of LBW. Programme targeting paternal education may be useful and study of biological plausibility associated with the maternal blood group is recommended.