Low birth weight in Bangladesh and associated maternal and socioeconomic factors: results from a recent nationally-representative survey
Hossain FB., Adhikary G., Arafat Y., Shawon MDS.
Objectives: Little is known about the relative contributions of maternal and socioeconomic factors on low birth weight in Bangladesh and whether they differ by sex. We examined the prevalence and associated maternal and socioeconomic factors of low birth weight separately among boys and girls. Design and settings: This is a cross-sectional study based on the Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey 2014. Participants: A total of 4728 children with information on birth size were included in this study. Outcome measure: Low birth weight was defined according to the perception of birth size of their children by mothers. Logistic regression analysis was used to estimate the association between maternal and socioeconomic factors with low birth weight. Results: The overall prevalence of low birth weight was 17.8% among boys and 22.4% among girls. Low birth weight was associated with maternal factors like maternal age of <20 years at birth (adjusted OR vs. 20-29 years: 1.40, 95% CI 1.09-1.78), and maternal undernutrition (adjusted OR 1.33, 95% CI 1.05-1.69) among boys while only the association with maternal undernutrition was significant among girls. The association for no antenatal care visit was explained by socioeconomic factors. Lower level of education for mothers and poorest wealth index were found to be associated with low birth weight in both sexes. Conclusion: Our study identifies that maternal factors are associated with increased risk of having low birth weight babies, which cannot be explained by socioeconomic factors, and vice versa. Community-based interventions to reduce low birth weight in Bangladesh should focus on these factors.