Mortality risk in preterm and small-for-gestational-age infants in low-income and middle-income countries: a pooled country analysis

ACKGROUND: Babies with low birthweight (ality. However, low birthweight includes babies born preterm and with fetal growth restriction, and not all these infants have a birthweight less than 2500 g. We estimated the neonatal and infant mortality associated with these two characteristics in low-income and middle-income countries. METHODS: For this pooled analysis, we searched all available studies and identified 20 cohorts (providing data for 2,015,019 livebirths) from Asia, Africa, and Latin America that recorded data for birthweight, gestational age, and vital statistics through 28 days of life. Study dates ranged from 1982 through to 2010. We calculated relative risks (RR) and risk differences (RD) for mortality associated with preterm birth (babies with either characteristic alone (15·42; 9·11-26·12). INTERPRETATION: Many babies in low-income and middle-income countries are SGA. Preterm birth affects a smaller number of neonates than does SGA, but is associated with a higher mortality risk. The mortality risks associated with both characteristics extend beyond the neonatal period. Differentiation of the burden and risk of babies born preterm and SGA rather than with low birthweight could guide prevention and management strategies to speed progress towards Millennium Development Goal 4--the reduction of child mortality.
Research areas:
Year:
2013
Type of Publication:
Article
Journal:
Lancet Glob Health
Volume:
382
Number:
9890
Pages:
p417–425
Month:
August
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The Zvitambo Institute for Maternal and Child Health Research is a multidisciplinary Zimbabwean organization that has developed and attracted expertise in various areas of biomedical and applied research and programming in the areas of maternal health, child health and growth, immunology, HIV/AIDS, nutrition, food security and livelihoods, WASH and counseling

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