Mal J Nutr 22(2): 257 - 265, 2016

Maternal Factors are Important Predictors of Low Birth Weight: Evidence from Bangladesh Demographic & Health Survey-2011
Md Reazul Karim1, Md Nazrul Islam Mondal1, Md Masud Rana1, Himangshu Karmaker2, Premananda Bharati3 & Md Golam Hossain4

1Department of Population Science and Human Resource Development, University of Rajshahi, Rajshahi -6205, Bangladesh
2 Divisional Coordinator, Challenge TB Project, Office of the Director (Health) Rajshahi Division, Rajshahi-6200, Bangladesh
3 Biological Anthropology Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, 203 B.T. Road, Kolkata-700 108
4 Department of Statistics, University of Rajshahi, Rajshahi-6205, Bangladesh


ABSTRACT

Introduction: Low birth weight (LBW) children are vulnerable to infections and malnutrition leading to poor physical, mental and social development. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence and factors associated with LBW among Bangladeshi children. Methods: Secondary data were extracted from 8,364 married and currently nonpregnant Bangladeshi women having at least one child (age =5 years) from the Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey 2011 (BDHS, 2011). Results: Overall prevalence of LBW was 17.6%. Younger mothers (age =20 years) were more likely (OR= 0.812) to deliver LBW infants than those between 21 and 29 years. Uneducated mothers had a higher chance (OR=0.552) of having LBW infants than mothers with higher education. Female infants were more likely (OR= 1.292) to be born LBW than males (p<0.01). Mothers from poor families, who did not attend ante-natal visits during pregnancy, and did not receive tetanus injections during pregnancy were more likely to deliver LBW infants. Underweight mothers had a higher probability than normal (OR= 0.880) and overweight (OR= 0.802) mothers to deliver LBW infants. Conclusion: The prevalence of LBW children in Bangladesh remains high. Mothers’ education, socio-economic status and nutritional status are important predictors of delivering LBW infants. Reducing the prevalence of LBW should continue to be a health priority of government and non-government organisations.

Keywords: Bangladesh, low birth weight, maternal education, nutritional status, socioeconomic status

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