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Institute for International Programs

Low Birth Weight Rates and Trends

Estimates of National Low Birth Weight (LBW) Rates and Trends Since 1995 (global, by country)

The primary underlying causes of low birthweight are intra-uterine growth restriction, preterm birth, or a combination of the two. At a population level both of these conditions are strongly associated with maternal factors such as maternal age, nutritional status, physical health, infection and lifestyle factors.  As such LBW is a critical indicator for both the health of the mother and future risk for the baby.  While LBW is an important marker of risk for neonatal and child mortality, there is no recognized time series of national level estimates. LSHTM, through a subgrant with JHU/IIP, is working in close coordination with WHO, UNICEF, JHU, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital to systematically review the LBW rate data sources, assess data availability and quality, and refine the analytical methodologies and processes to adjust survey based LBW data. National time trends will be estimated and published for LBW rates from 1995, or 2000 to the present, with uncertainty ranges.

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London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)