Low birth weight (LBW) remains a global concern for childhood morbidity and mortality. This study examined the socioeconomic factors associated with LBW among Bangladeshi newborns and drew a district-level prevalence map.
Data were extracted from the 2019 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey for Bangladesh. Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify the predictors of LBW.
The prevalence of LBW among Bangladeshi newborns was found to be 14.5%. Overall, the Eastern and South-Eastern regions had a higher burden of LBW. Mothers’ educational status, mode of delivery, wealth index quintile of the household and area were identified as independent predictors of newborns’ LBW. Mothers who completed primary and secondary education grades had a 1.6- and 1.3-fold higher possibility of having an LBW baby compared with those who completed higher secondary or higher educational grades (adjusted OR=1.62 and 1.32, 95% CI 1.21 to 2.18 and 1.06 to 1.65, respectively). Children belonging to the poorest households and residing in urban areas had a 1.4-fold higher likelihood of being LBW (p<0.05).
This study indicates that LBW is still highly prevalent in Bangladesh. Immediate public health action is required in the highly prevalent regions identified in this study.