Prevalence, Risk Factors and Short-Term Outcomes of Low Birth Weight Infants Born during Covid Pandemic - A Prospective Case Control Study
Introduction: Low birth weight (LBW) is a global
health problem since it is associated with various short
term and long term adverse outcomes. This study aimed
to determine the prevalence, risk factors, and short-term
outcomes of LBW infants born in Covid era in Pokhara
Academy of Health Sciences(PoAHS).
Materials and methods: A prospective case–control
study was done in PoAHS among the neonates born during
the study period of June 15, 2021 to December 15, 2021
via convenience sampling in the ratio of 1:2.Stillbirth,
intrauterine foetal demise (IUFD) multiple pregnancies
and neonates with major congenital/chromosomal
anomalies were excluded. The total sample size for the
study was 423; 141 cases and 282 controls.
Results: The prevalence of LBW was 97.8 per 1000 live
births. The mothers with LBW deliveries had significantly
lower body weight and height, gained less weight in
pregnancy and did not consume adequate nutritious
food. They belonged to lower socioeconomic status,were
exposed to smoking and did hard physical work during
pregnancy. Covid 19 infection increased the odds of LBW
deliveries AOR 9.007(95% CI 2.135-37.994) p=0.03.
Preterm LBW infants were more likely to be admitted in
NICU and had increased risk of mortality(p= 0.046).
Conclusion: Nutritional, environmental, socioeconomic
and maternal health related factors were associated with
LBW which must be prioritized to reduce the prevalence
of LBW and improve the outcome.