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Health > Births > Low birth weight: Countries Compared

Author: chris.lockyer781

Author: chris.lockyer781

Infants with a documented weight of less than 2,500 grams immediately after birth are considered to have low birth weight. The rate of low birth weight is computed as the number of live born babies weighing less than 2,500 grams x 100 divided by the total number of live births.

Low birth weight is one of the top causes of newborn deaths in both developed and developing countries. It also increases morbidity in early life, and has been shown to have significant long term consequences until adulthood.

The two main causes of low birth weight are preterm birth and intrauterine growth restriction. Preterm birth is the most common cause of low birth weight in both developed and developing countries. In the United States, the rate of preterm births has risen from 10% to 12.5% in the past 25 years. A similar rise in the rate of preterm births is seen in other developed countries.

Low birth weight rates are much higher in developing countries. Asia has the highest rate at 18.3% followed by Africa at 14.3%. It is important to note that in poorer countries, many newborns are not weighed at birth, and these statistics may underestimate the actual rate of low birth weight deliveries. In these countries, low birthweight is also caused by poor maternal health and nutrition due to poverty.

Smoking and alcohol consumption during pregnancy are proven risk factors for low birth weight.

During infancy, low birth weight increases the risk of many complications such as jaundice, respiratory distress, anemia and infections. In young children, it is associated with poor physical and cognitive growth. In the US, children who were born with low birth weights were shown to have poorer reading comprehension and skills in mathematics. Rates of high school dropouts in these children were also higher. In adulthood, low birth weight is associated with increased incidence of chronic diseases like hypertension, heart disease and diabetes.

Citations:

1) UNICEF: Low Birth Weight. Country, regional and global estimates. http://www.childinfo.org/files/lowbirthweightfrom_EY.pdf

2) Goldenberg RL, Culhane JF. Low birth weight in the United States. Am J Clin Nutr 2007: 85; 5845-5905.

3) Michigan news: Born to lose: How birth weight affects adult health and success. http://ns.umich.edu/new/releases/5882

DEFINITION: Percentage of live births classified by the OECD as of low birth weight. Data generally for 2000; in some cases, data is for 1999, 1998, or, in the sole case of Belgium, 1997. Refer to the source for details..

CONTENTS

# COUNTRY AMOUNT DATE GRAPH
1 MexicoMexico 9.4% 2000
2 JapanJapan 8.6% 2000
3 HungaryHungary 8.4% 2000
4 GreeceGreece 8.1% 2000
5 United StatesUnited States 7.8% 2000
6 United KingdomUnited Kingdom 7.6% 2000
7 PortugalPortugal 7.4% 2000
Group of 7 countries (G7) averageGroup of 7 countries (G7) average 6.93% 2000
8 LuxembourgLuxembourg 6.8% 2000
9 SlovakiaSlovakia 6.7% 2000
10 GermanyGermany 6.5% 2000
11 New ZealandNew Zealand 6.4% 2000
12 FranceFrance 6.4% 2000
13 AustriaAustria 6.3% 2000
14 SwitzerlandSwitzerland 6.3% 2000
15 AustraliaAustralia 6.2% 2000
16 SpainSpain 6.2% 2000
17 BelgiumBelgium 6.1% 2000
18 ItalyItaly 6% 2000
19 Czech RepublicCzech Republic 5.8% 2000
20 PolandPoland 5.7% 2000
21 CanadaCanada 5.6% 2000
22 NetherlandsNetherlands 4.7% 2000
23 NorwayNorway 4.7% 2000
24 FinlandFinland 4.3% 2000
25 SwedenSweden 4.2% 2000
26 IcelandIceland 4.1% 2000

Citation

"All countries compared for Health > Births > Low birth weight", OECD. Aggregates compiled by NationMaster. Retrieved from http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Health/Births/Low-birth-weight

Health > Births > Low birth weight: Countries Compared Map

NationMaster

5

Infants with a documented weight of less than 2,500 grams immediately after birth are considered to have low birth weight. The rate of low birth weight is computed as the number of live born babies weighing less than 2,500 grams x 100 divided by the total number of live births.

Low birth weight is one of the top causes of newborn deaths in both developed and developing countries. It also increases morbidity in early life, and has been shown to have significant long term consequences until adulthood.

The two main causes of low birth weight are preterm birth and intrauterine growth restriction. Preterm birth is the most common cause of low birth weight in both developed and developing countries. In the United States, the rate of preterm births has risen from 10% to 12.5% in the past 25 years. A similar rise in the rate of preterm births is seen in other developed countries.

Low birth weight rates are much higher in developing countries. Asia has the highest rate at 18.3% followed by Africa at 14.3%. It is important to note that in poorer countries, many newborns are not weighed at birth, and these statistics may underestimate the actual rate of low birth weight deliveries. In these countries, low birthweight is also caused by poor maternal health and nutrition due to poverty.

Smoking and alcohol consumption during pregnancy are proven risk factors for low birth weight.

During infancy, low birth weight increases the risk of many complications such as jaundice, respiratory distress, anemia and infections. In young children, it is associated with poor physical and cognitive growth. In the US, children who were born with low birth weights were shown to have poorer reading comprehension and skills in mathematics. Rates of high school dropouts in these children were also higher. In adulthood, low birth weight is associated with increased incidence of chronic diseases like hypertension, heart disease and diabetes.

Citations:

1) UNICEF: Low Birth Weight. Country, regional and global estimates. http://www.childinfo.org/files/lowbirthweightfrom_EY.pdf

2) Goldenberg RL, Culhane JF. Low birth weight in the United States. Am J Clin Nutr 2007: 85; 5845-5905.

3) Michigan news: Born to lose: How birth weight affects adult health and success. http://ns.umich.edu/new/releases/5882

Posted on 09 Apr 2014

chris.lockyer781

chris.lockyer781

377

0

Low birthweight is defined as a birth weight of less than 2500g. These infants may suffer from infections, weakened immunity, learning disabilities, impaired physical development and, in severe cases, die not long after birth. Low birthweight is a factor in over two thirds of href=/graph/hea_inf_mor_rat&int=-1>infant mortality cases.

In developed nations, the most common causes of low birthweight are genetic factors, prematurity, multiple birth, high maternal age (over 35 years) and href=/graph/hea_tob_tot_adu_smo>smoking during pregnancy.

Although this statistic focuses primarily on developed nations, the majority of low birthweight babies are born in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. In these regions, the main factors are poor maternal health, a high number of children per woman, closely spaced children, low maternal age (under 16 years), inadequate rest and infection.

Posted on 25 Feb 2005

Edria Murray<br>Staff editor

Edria Murray<br>Staff editor

0

In order to fullfill my final year project for Degree Undergraduate, I require low birth weight data to do my project.
So, can you give me, please.

Thank You very much!!!

Posted on 13 Jan 2010

Canny Loo

Canny Loo

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