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Percentage of infants weighing less than 2500 grams (5 pounds, 8 ounces) at birth.

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Low Birthweight: Iowa

Iowa Low Birthweight (1993-2015) see more
  • Percentage of infants weighing less than 2500 grams (5 pounds, 8 ounces) at birth.

Low Birthweight

United States Low Birthweight (1993-2015) see more
  • Percentage of infants weighing less than 2500 grams (5 pounds, 8 ounces) at birth.
Ranking Value State
1 5.8 Alaska
2 6.3 Oregon
2 6.3 South Dakota
4 6.4 Minnesota
4 6.4 Nebraska
4 6.4 North Dakota
4 6.4 Washington
8 6.6 Iowa
9 6.7 Vermont
10 6.8 California
10 6.8 New Hampshire
12 6.9 Arizona
12 6.9 Idaho
12 6.9 Rhode Island
15 7 Kansas
15 7 Utah
15 7 Wisconsin
18 7.1 Maine
19 7.4 Montana
20 7.7 Massachusetts
21 7.8 Connecticut
22 7.9 Indiana
23 8 Missouri
23 8 Nevada
23 8 New York
23 8 Pennsylvania
23 8 Virginia
28 8.1 Oklahoma
29 8.2 Hawaii
29 8.2 Illinois
29 8.2 Michigan
32 8.3 Delaware
32 8.3 New Jersey
32 8.3 Texas
35 8.5 Florida
35 8.5 Maryland
35 8.5 Ohio
38 8.6 Wyoming
39 8.7 Kentucky
40 8.8 Arkansas
40 8.8 Colorado
40 8.8 North Carolina
43 8.9 New Mexico
44 9.1 Tennessee
45 9.4 West Virginia
46 9.5 Georgia
47 9.7 South Carolina
48 10 Alabama
49 10.9 Louisiana
50 11.5 Mississippi

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Disparities
Low Birthweight
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Core Measure Impact
Low Birthweight
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Related Measures
Low Birthweight
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Thematic Map
Low Birthweight
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Overview

Low Birthweight is the percentage of live births of infants weighing less than 2,500 grams (5 pounds, 8 ounces). The 2015 ranks are based on 2013 birth certificates from the National Vital Statistics System.

The prevalence of low birthweight varies from a low of 5.8% of live births in Alaska to a high of 10% or more in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. The national average is 8.0% of live births, unchanged from the 2014 Edition. Healthy People 2020 objectives include reducing low birthweight to 7.8% of live births.

 

Public Health Impact

Infant mortality rates are highest for the smallest infants and decrease sharply as birthweight increases.[1] Among babies born at a low birthweight (LBW) (< 2,500 grams), those born at a very low birthweight (<1,500 grams) account for the majority of differences seen in health outcomes.[2] Among babies born at very low birthweight, the most common medical problems include respiratory distress syndrome, bleeding in the brain, heart problems, retinopathy, and such intestinal disorders as necrotizing enterocolitis.[3],[4] There may also be a connection between LBW and such chronic adulthood diseases as type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease.[5],[6] Roughly 7 of 10 LBW babies are born prematurely, before 37 weeks. While the percentage of babies born preterm continues decline, the LBW rate remains essentially unchanged.[7]

LBW may occur as a result of inadequate prenatal clinical care. Through regular clinical visits, health risks can be identified and steps taken to improve the mother’s health and reduce her risk for preterm birth. Women who smoke are nearly twice as likely to have a LBW baby as women who do not smoke. Other significant risk factors include diabetes, high blood pressure, and other chronic conditions; infections; insufficient weight gain during pregnancy; being unemployed; and low education or income levels. [8] The prevalence of LBW is similar among black and white teen mothers, but the risk for LBW does not decrease with maternal age for black mothers as it does for white mothers.[9] Controlling for background disadvantage and current socioeconomic status (SES), black teenage mothers exhibit more favorable birth outcomes than their older counterparts.[10] White teenage mothers have increased risk for LBW compared with older mothers due to background socioeconomic disadvantage, smoking during pregnancy, current low SES, and being unmarried.[11]

Cost of hospitalizations for preterm/LBW babies totaled $5.8 billion in 2001, amounting to 47% of all infant hospitalizations and 27% of pediatric stays.[12] LBW is most common among black mothers with a prevalence of 13.6% of births in 2014 compared with the national rate of 8%.[13]

Successful prevention strategies include:

?       Expanding access to medical and dental services, and taking a lifespan approach to health care

?       Focusing intensively on smoking prevention and cessation

?       Ensuring that pregnant women receive adequate nutrition

?       Addressing demographic, social, and environmental risk factors[14]

Healthy People 2020’s objective is to reduce LBW to 7.8% of live births.



[1] Mathews TJ, MacDorman MF. Infant mortality statistics from the 2010 period linked birth/infant death data set. National Vital Statistics Reports. 2013;62(8).

[2] Boardman, JD, Powers, DA, Padilla YC, Hummer RA. Low birth weight, social factors, and developmental outcomes among children in the United States. Demography. 2002;39(2):353-368.

[3] Lemons JA, Bauer CR, Oh W, et al. Very low birth weight outcomes of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network, January 1995 through December 1996. NICHD Neonatal Research Network. Pediatrics. 2001;107(1).

[4] Als H. Individualized developmental care for the very low-birth-weight preterm infant. JAMA. 1994;272(11):853.

[5] Barker DJP. Fetal origins of adult disease: strength of effects and biological basis. Int J Epidemiol. 2002;31(6):1235.

[6] Luyckx VA, Bertram JF, Brenner BM, et al. Effect of fetal and child health on kidney development and long-term risk of hypertension and kidney disease. The Lancet. 2013;382(9888):273-283.

[7] Martin JA, Hamilton BE, Osterman MJK, et al. Births: final data for 2013. National Vital Statistics Reports. 2015:64(1).

[8] March of Dimes. Low birthweight. http://www.marchofdimes.org/baby/low-birthweight.aspx . Accessed May 29, 2015.

[9] Dennis JA, Mollborn S. Young maternal age and low birth weight risk: an exploration of racial/ethnic disparities in the birth outcomes of mothers in the United States. The Social Science Journal. 2013;50(4):625-634.

[10] Dennis JA, Mollborn S. Young maternal age and low birth weight risk: an exploration of racial/ethnic disparities in the birth outcomes of mothers in the United States. The Social Science Journal. 2013;50(4):625-634.

[11] Dennis JA, Mollborn S. Young maternal age and low birth weight risk: an exploration of racial/ethnic disparities in the birth outcomes of mothers in the United States. The Social Science Journal. 2013;50(4):625-634.

[12] Russel RB, Green NS, Steiner CA, et al. Cost of hospitalization for preterm and low birth weight infants in the United States Pediatrics 2007;120(1):e1-9.

[13] Hamilton B, Martin J, Osterman M, et al. Births: preliminary data for 2014. National Vital Statistics Reports 2015;64(6):1-19. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr64/nvsr64_06.pdf

[14] Shore R, Shore B. KIDS COUNT Indicator Brief: Preventing Low Birthweight. Annie E. Casey Foundation; 2009. http://www.aecf.org/KnowledgeCenter/Publications.aspx?pubguid=%7B950E85EE-C2B4-466E-AA20-AE2010384A17%7D