Prevalence of Low Birth Weight and Prematurity and Associated Factors in Neonates in Ethiopia: Results from a Hospital-based Observational Study

  • Melkamu Berhane
  • Netsanet Workineh
  • Tsinuel Girma
  • Ruth Lim
  • Katherine J Lee
  • Cattram D Nguyen
  • Eleanor Neal
  • Fiona M Russell
Keywords: prematurity, low birth weight, newborn


BACKGROUND: Low birth weight and prematurity are associated
with increased morbidity, mortality and multiple short and longterm
complications, exerting impacts on the individual, the
families, the community and the health care system. Fetal,
maternal and environmental factors have been associated with low
birth weight and prematurity, based primarily on researches from
high-income countries. It is unknown whether these risk factors
are the same in low and middle income countries. The aims of this
study are to determine the prevalence of low birth weight and
prematurity and associated factors in Jimma University Specialized
Hospital, Ethiopia.
METHODS: This observational study was conducted at Jimma
University Specialized Hospital, Ethiopia, from December 2014 to
September 2016. Multivariable logistic regression was used to
determine the associated factors, with results reported as odds
ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI).
RESULTS: The prevalence of low birth weight and prematurity
were 14.6% and 10.2%, respectively. The mean birth weight was
2,975g (standard deviation 494). Prematurity (OR 23.54, 95%CI
15.35-36.08, p<0.001) and unmarried marital status (OR 5.73,
95%CI 1.61-20.40, p=0.007) were positively associated with low
birth weight. Female sex (OR 1.69, 95%CI 1.18-2.42, p=0.004) and
unmarried marital status (OR 4.07, 95%CI 1.17-14.14, p=0.027)
were positively associated with prematurity.
CONCLUSION: The prevalence of lower birth weight and
prematurity in this study is lower than other studies reported from
similar facilities. Prematurity and unmarried marital status are
associated with LBW whereas female sex and unmarried marital
status are associated with prematurity in this population.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1029-1857
print ISSN: 1029-1857