Risk Factors Associated with Low Birth Weight Among Infants: A Nested Case‑Control Study in Southeastern Iran

Zaher Khazaei, Mohammad Mehdi Bagheri, Elham Goodarzi, Leili Moayed, Niloofar Ebrahim Abadi, Sayeed Maryam Bechashk, Shokrollah Mohseni, Mansoureh Safizadeh, Maryam Behseresht, Ahmad Naghibzadeh-Tahami


Background: Mortality rate in low‑birth‑weight infants is almost 30 times more than that in those with normal weight, so the birth of low‑birth‑weight infants is one of the most serious health problems in the world. Therefore, this nested case‑control study was conducted to investigate the risk factors associated with low birth weight among infants in the rural population of Kerman province. Methods: This nested case‑control study was performed in rural areas of Kerman province, southeastern Iran. Case (n = 155) and control (n = 310) groups were selected using risk set sampling. Data were analyzed through Point and distance estimation (OR, CI) using conditional logistic regression method by Stata‑12 software. Results: The results of multivariate analysis showed that maternal BMI [OR = 0.3, CI 95% (0.1, 0.9)], gestational age [OR = 3.8, CI 95% (0.9, 6.1)], history of stillbirth [OR = 4.8, CI 95% (1.3, 11)], history of pregnancy bleeding [OR = 3.7, CI 95% (0.7, 9)], pregnancy craving [OR = 3, CI 95% (1.1, 3.8)], and the level of health workers’ care [OR = 0.4, CI 95% (0.1, 0.9)] are the risk factors affecting LBW in infants (P < 0.05). Conclusions: Low birth weight is a multifactorial phenomenon. Therefore, raising public awareness, providing nutritional counseling to pregnant mothers, regular referral to health homes to receive health care, and identifying risk factors and referral to higher level specialists and health centers can be effective in reducing the risk of birth of LBW infants.


Infant; Iran; low birth weight; nested case‑control studies

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