Prevalence and Associated Determinants of Low Birth Weight in Developing Countries: A Multi-country Analysis from Nationwide Population-Based Survey

  • Rashidul Alam MahumudEmail author
  • Abdur Razzaque Sarker
  • Marufa Sultana
  • Md. Nurul Islam
  • Md. Ripter Hossain
  • Md. Golam Hossain
Part of the India Studies in Business and Economics book series (ISBE)


Low birth weight (LBW) is a major public health concern especially in developing countries which frequently is related to child morbidity and mortality. This study aimed to identify key determinants that influence the prevalence of LBW babies in 10 selected developing countries. We conducted a secondary data analyses from the recent Demography and Health Surveys (DHS) in 10 selected developing countries. Only numerical type of birth weight data were considered for the analyses. We performed multivariate logistic regression analysis to present the unadjusted and adjusted odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI). We find that the overall prevalence of LBW in the study countries was 15.9% with a range of 9.0–35.1%. Results of the study demonstrated that maternal age of 35–49 years (OR = 1.66, 95% CI: 0.45–1.96), antenatal care (OR = 1.75; 95% CI: 1.08–2.82), illiteracy (OR = 1.54;0.39–1.74), later conception (OR = 1.88; 95% CI: 1.40–2.53), underweight (OR = 1.59; 95% CI: 1.21–2.09) and wealth status (OR = 1.15, 95% CI: 0.93–1.41) were significantly associated with prevalence of low birth weight. This study identified a number of determinants that have a direct influence on the prevalence of low birth weight. Strategies should be taken to improve the overall maternal health status, and thus to reduce further adverse health sequence progression. Efforts on community-based intervention programs will likely reduce the occurrence of LBW infants.


Low birth weight Determinant Developing countries Multivariate analysis 



The International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research of Bangladesh (icddr’b) is thankful to the Governments of Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Sweden, and the UK for providing core/unrestricted support.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rashidul Alam Mahumud
    • 1
    Email author
  • Abdur Razzaque Sarker
    • 1
  • Marufa Sultana
    • 1
  • Md. Nurul Islam
    • 2
  • Md. Ripter Hossain
    • 2
  • Md. Golam Hossain
    • 2
  1. 1.Health Economics and Financing Research, Health Systems and Population Studies DivisionInternational Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b)DhakaBangladesh
  2. 2.Department of Statistics, Health Research GroupUniversity of RajshahiRajshahiBangladesh

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