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Patterning in Birthweight in India: Analysis of Maternal Recall and Health Card Data.
Authors: Subramanyam, Malavika A.; Ackerson, Leland K.; Subramanian, S. V.
Source: PLOS ONE , 2010, Vol. 5 Issue 7, p1-9, 9p, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0011424
Topic(s): Birth weight
Country: Asia
Published: MAY 2010
Abstract: Abstract: Background: National data on birthweight from birth certificates or medical records are not available in India. The third Indian National Family Health Survey included data on birthweight of children obtained from health cards and maternal recall. This study aims to describe the population that these data represent and compares the birthweight obtained from health cards with maternal recall data in terms of its socioeconomic patterning and as a risk factor for childhood growth failure. Methodology/Principal Findings: The analytic sample consisted of children aged 0 to 59 months with birthweight data obtained from health cards (n = 3227) and maternal recall (n = 16787). The difference between the card sample and the maternal recall sample in the distribution across household wealth, parental education, caste, religion, gender, and urban residence was compared using multilevel models. We also assessed the ability of birthweight to predict growth failure in infancy and childhood in the two groups. The survey contains birthweight data from a majority of household wealth categories (>5% in every category for recall), both genders, all age groups, all caste groups, all religion groups, and urban and rural dwellers. However, children from the lowest quintile of household wealth were under-represented (4.73% in card and 8.62% in recall samples). Comparison of data across health cards and maternal recall revealed similar social patterning of low birthweight and ability of birthweight to predict growth failure later in life. Children were less likely to be born with low birthweight if they had mothers with over 12 years of education compared to 1-5 years of education with relative risk (RR) of 0.79 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.52, 1.2) in the card sample and 0.70 (95% CI: 0.59, 0.84) in the recall sample. A 100 gram difference in a child's birthweight was associated with a decreased likelihood of underweight in both the card (RR: 0.95; 95% CI: 0.94, 0.96) and recall (RR: 0.96; 95% CI: 0.96, 0.97) samples. Conclusions: Our results suggest that in the absence of other sources, the data on birthweight in the third Indian National Family Health Survey is valuable for epidemiologic research. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]