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Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2012 Jan;285(1):1-6. doi: 10.1007/s00404-011-1885-y. Epub 2011 Mar 24.

Maternal risk factors for low birth weight babies in Lagos, Nigeria.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti, Ekiti, Nigeria.



This case control study, which was prospective in design, was carried out in Lagos, Nigeria at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital. The aim was to determine the prevalence of and identify the risk factors for low birth weight deliveries.


Using a pre-structured questionnaire, information about the sociodemographic, past obstetric history and the index pregnancy were obtained.


A total of 460 questionnaires were analyzed [155 women with LBW deliveries (cases) and 305 women with babies that weighed ≥2500 g who served as controls]. 1,097 births occurred during the study period, giving an incidence of 14.1%. Maternal age and parity were not significant risk factors. Not being booked in a tertiary institution [Odds ratio (OR) 0.39, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 0.20-0.73, p < 0.05], previous history of LBW birth(s) (OR 2.42, 95% CI 1.02-5.81, p < 0.05), hypertensive disorder in index pregnancy (χ (2) = 50.18, p < 0.001), preterm rupture of membranes (OR 25.06, 95% CI 5.59-156.49, p < 0.001) and bleeding in pregnancy (OR 2.44, 95% CI 1.61-7.34, p < 0.001) were significantly associated with increased risk of LBW babies. However HIV infection, sickle cell disease, maternal height, occupation and level of education were not significant (p > 0.05).


Preconceptual care, efficient antenatal care and effective treatment of pelvic infections (which may predispose to preterm births) could reduce the incidence of low birth weight deliveries in Nigeria.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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