Factors predisposing to low birth weight in Jimma Hospital South Western Ethiopia

  • A Gebremariam Department of Population and Family Health, Jimma University, P.O. Box 480, Jimma, Ethiopia


Background: Low birth weight continues to remain a major public health problem in Ethiopia in contrast to what is observed in many developing countries.

Objectives: To assess some of the predisposing factors to low birth weight among deliveries in Jimma hospital.

Design: Cross-sectional case referent study.

Setting: Maternal and child health clinic and maternity ward of Jimma University Hospital, Ethiopia.

Subjects: One hundred and forty seven mothers who gave birth to low birth weight (LBW) babies between June 1999 and July 2000 were identified.

Main outcome measures: Normal and low birth weight.

Results: The incidence of LBW was found to be 11.02%. Mothers younger than 20 years and ≥35 years, short stature (≥150 cm), late first antenatal visit and complications during pregnancy were significantly associated with LBW (p<0.001). However, parity showed a negative association with LBW.

Conclusion: Attention to nutritional education, early antenatal care interventions and strengthening of maternal and child health assists in combating LBW in the area.

East African Medical Journal Vol. 82(11) 2005: 554-558

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eISSN: 0012-835X