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Risk factors for low birth weight in Nigeria: evidence from the 2013 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey
Authors: Maznah Dahlui, Nazar Azahar, Oche Mansur Oche, and Norlaili Abdul Aziz
Source: Global Health Action, 9: 10.3402/gha.v9.28822; doi: 10.3402/gha.v9.28822
Topic(s): Birth weight
Child health
Maternal health
Country: Africa
Published: JAN 2016
Abstract: Background Low birth weight (LBW) continues to be the primary cause of infant morbidity and mortality. Objective This study was undertaken to identify the predictors of LBW in Nigeria. Design The data for this study was extracted from the 2013 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey conducted by the National Population Commission. Several questionnaires were used in the survey, some covering questions on pregnancy characteristics. The inclusion criteria include mothers who gave birth to a child 5 years before the interview and aged 15–49 years who were either permanent residents or visitors present in the household on the night before the survey conducted. The birth weight of the infants was recorded from written records from the hospital cards or the mothers’ recall. Results The prevalence of LBW in this study was 7.3%. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed an adjusted significant odds ratio for mothers from North West region (aOR 10.67; 95% CI [5.83–19.5]), twin pregnancy (aOR 5.11; 95% CI [3.11–8.39]), primiparous mother (aOR 2.08; 95% CI [1.15–3.77]), maternal weight of less than 70 kg (aOR 1.92; 95% CI [1.32–2.78]), and manual paternal employment (aOR 1.91; 95% CI [1.08–3.37]). Conclusions The risk factors for LBW identified in this study are modifiable. In order to reduce this menace in Nigeria, holistic approaches such as health education, maternal nutrition, improvement in socio-economic indices, and increasing the quality and quantity of the antenatal care services are of paramount importance. Keywords: low birth weight, Nigeria, risk factors, maternal and child health