Pattern And Determinants Of Birth Weight In Rural North India

Background:-Birth weight is the most important predictor of healthy life of a newborn. Neonatal and infant survival is largely dependent on birth weight of newborns in resource poor countries. Objective: 1.To analyze the pattern of birth weight of newborns in a rural area of Punjab. 2. To identify the factors affecting the birth weight. Methodology:-The study was carried out by identifying a birth cohort of 332 live births born in the year 2014 (Jan – Dec) in rural field practice area under dept of Community Medicine. A population of 31756 is regularly followed up by health workers and the data is maintained regarding all pregnancies and their outcome. Birth weight, socio demographic data and maternal characteristics were obtained from records maintained at rural health training centre. Results:-Mean birth weight of study population was 2.7 ± 0.5kg. Among all live births 23.8% were delivered prior to 37 weeks of gestation (preterm), of which two thirds were born at 35-36 weeks of gestation (late preterm). Nearly 8% of term births were low birth weight. The determinants studied for increase in mean birth weight included maternal age (p<0.05), height (p<0.05), Gravida (p=0.733), inter-pregnancy interval (p=0.330) and education (p=0.291). Conclusion:-The study identified modifiable risk factors significantly affecting birth weight and thus highlights the need for various interventions to improve birth weight of newborns. Key Words: Birth weight, Low birth weight, Preterm birth, Risk factors Key Messages 1. Mean birth weight comparable to national average birth weight. 2. Incidence of preterm births is high. 3. Targeting Modifiable risk factors can improve birth weight further.

Anurag Chaudhary


Dr Anurag Chaudhary is Professor and Head in the department of Community Medicine, Dayanand Medical College & Hospital, Ludhiana. Her main area of interest is Family Medicine & Medical Education. She has been awarded-FAIMER Fellowship by CMC FAIMER Regional Institute & Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education & Research, Philadelphia, USA. She has over thirty international & national publications to her credit & has presented papers at national & international conferences.