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Afr Health Sci. 2011 Mar;11(1):65-71.

Parity and maternal education are associated with low birth weight in Malawi.

Author information

1
Division of Community Health, Department of Public Health, College of Medicine, University of Malawi, Blantyre, Malawi.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The consequences of low birth weight (LBW) include death and long-term health sequelae. Limited attention has been made towards the study of socio-demographic factors that may be associated with LBW in Malawi.

OBJECTIVES:

To assess factors that may be associated with LBW.

METHODS:

We used secondary data on the 2006 Malawi Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS). Logistic regression analyses were conducted.

RESULTS:

A total of 26,259 females in the age group 15-49 years participated in the survey, and of these, 5024 had children who were reported to have been weighed at birth. Most (60.5%) of the respondents were in the 20-29 years age group. In multivariate analysis, the odds of LBW delivery were lower for women in higher wealth quintiles and those who had some education. Women who previously had a child were less likely to deliver a LBW baby.

CONCLUSION:

The higher odds of delivering a LBW baby among women with no education, and lower wealth status may suggest that there is need to tailor pre-natal care based interventions on social status. This may involve creating education level-specific health messages.

KEYWORDS:

Parity; low birth weight; maternal education

PMID:
21572859
PMCID:
PMC3092318
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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