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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 100-107

Trends in incidence of low birth weight deliveries in a tertiary hospital, in Northern Nigeria

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Bayero University/ Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Z Muhammad
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Bayero University/Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Background: Low birth weight is an important determinant of both infant and neonatal mortality rates and is also an indicator of social and economic development. The World Health Organization described any baby with birth weight of less than 2.5kg as low birth weight baby. Objective: To determine the incidence of low birth weight deliveries in Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano. Study design: A retrospective descriptive study. Results: The overall incidence of low birth weight deliveries over the study period was 11.30%. The incidence dropped yearly from 12.8% in 2007 to 10.90% in 2008 and 10.10% in 2009. Generally, however, incidence peaked in the dry season. The incidence increased in mothers aged 16 years and above to peak between the ages of 21 -25 year and then drop after the age of 30 years. The incidence was also highest among nulliparous women dropping with increasing parity and rising after five consecutive deliveries. Mothers with less than secondary education had the highest delivery rate of low birth weight babies and contrary to other studies, the incidence of low birth weight deliveries was higher among booked mothers 57.8%. Most (84.6%) of the low birth weight babies weighed 1.5kg and above and greater percentage of them were born preterm( 64.2%) meaning that of all the aetiological factors examined, preterm labour (40.7%) was most consistent with low birth weight deliveries and it was followed closely by unknown causes (24.5%), hypertensive disorder of pregnancy (13.1%), twinning (10.5%) and antepartum haemorrhage which accounted for 5.3% of low birth weight. Conclusion: There is a steady decline in the incidence of low birth weight deliveries over the period of study. Most of the babies born with low birth weight were delivered before 37 completed weeks of gestation and preterm labour was the most dorminant risk factor.

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