Objectives: The aim of this study was to analyse the pattern of birth weight (BW) and identify the factors affecting BW and the risk factors of low birth weight (LBW) in Oman. Study design: The data for the study came from the 2000 Oman National Health Survey conducted by the Ministry of Health. The survey covered a nationally representative sample of 2037 ever married Omani women of reproductive age. Methods: Data on birth weight were gathered from health cards of the infants born within five years before the survey date. The study considered 977 singleton live births for whom data on birth weights were available. LBW was defined as BW less than 2500 g. Descriptive statistics, analysis of variance, multivariate linear regression and logistic regression models were used for data analysis. Results: The mean BW was found to be 3.09 (SD 0.51) kg. BW was found to be significantly lower among the infants with the following characteristics: born in Ad-Dhakhliyah region, born in rural areas, and whose mothers had low economic status, low parity (0-2), and late initiation of antenatal care (ANC) visit. The incidence of LBW was found to be 9% in Oman in 2000. Mother's education, economic status, region of residence, late initiation of first ANC visit and experience of pregnancy complications appeared as the significant determinants of LBW in Oman. In contrast to most other studies, this study demonstrates that mothers with an advanced level of education (secondary and above) are more likely to have infants with LBW in Oman. Conclusion: The study findings highlight the need of intervention for specific groups of women with higher risk of adverse BW outcomes.
- Birth weight
- Low birth weight
- Risk factor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health