Socio-economic determinants of low birth weight in Bangladesh: A multivariate approach

Selina Khatun, Mahmudur Rahman


Though the health situation of Bangladesh has improved substantially over the years, the low birth weight (LBW) rate is still pretty high. The principal focus of this study was to ascertain the significant determinants for LBW. One hundred and eight LBW babies were compared with 357 normal birth weight babies. Out of 20 possible risk variables analyzed, 9 were found significant when studied separately. Mother's age, education, occupation, yearly income, gravid status, gestational age at first visit, number of antenatal care visit attended, quality of antenatal care received and pre-delivery body mass index had significantly associated with the incidence of LBW. Using the stepwise logistic regression, mother's age (p < 0.001), education (p < 0.02), number of antenatal care visit attended (p < 0.001, OR=29.386) and yearly income (p < 0.001, OR=3.379) created the best model, which predicted 86.1% and 94.4% of the LBW babies and normal birth weight babies respectively. Maternal age, educational level and economic status play an important role in the incidence of low birth weight.

Keywords: Bangladesh; low birth weight; socio-economic

Online: 29-1-2009

DOI: 10.3329/bmrcb.v34i3.1857

Bangladesh Med Res Counc Bull 2008; 34: 81-86


Bangladesh; low birth weight; socio-economic

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This peer-reviewed open access journal is indexed in PubMed/MEDLINE.