Effect of under-nutrition during pregnancy on low birth weight in Tigray regional state, Ethiopia; a prospective cohort study

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Abstract

Background: Under-nutrition during pregnancy affects birth outcomes and neonatal outcomes. Worldwide, 20.5 million children were low birth weight, mainly in poor countries. However, there is no longitudinal-based evidence on the effect of under-nutrition during pregnancy on birth weight in Tigray regional state. Therefore, this study aimed at investigating the effect of under-nutrition during pregnancy on low birth weight in Tigray regional state. Methods: We conducted a prospective cohort study among consecutively selected 540 pregnant women attending antenatal care in hospitals from October 2019 to June 2020. Pregnant women with mid upper arm circumference (MUAC) < 23 cm were exposed and those with MUAC≥23 cm were unexposed. Data on socio-demographic, diet, hygiene and anthropometry measurements were collected using pretested and structured questionnaires. SPSS version 25 was used for analysis. A log-binomial model was used to estimate the adjusted risk ratio and its 95%CI of the risk factors for low birth weight. Multi-collinearity was checked using the variance inflation factor (VIF) at a cut-off point of 8 and there was no multi-collinearity. Result: The overall incidence of low birth weight was 14% (95%CI: 11.1, 17.4%). The incidence of low birth weight was 18.4 and 9.8% among the exposed and unexposed women, respectively. The difference in low birth weight incidence between the exposed and unexposed groups was statistically significant (p-value = 0.006). The risk factors of low birth weight were maternal illiteracy (ARR: 1.8, 95%CI: 1.01, 3.3), low monthly family income < 50 US Dollar (ARR: 1.6, 95%CI: 1.07, 2.2), lack of latrine utilization (ARR: 0.47, 95%CI: 0.28, 0.78), and diet diversity score < 5 (ARR: 1.9, 95%CI: 1.05, 2.61). Conclusion: Low birth weight was significantly higher among the exposed pregnant women. Maternal illiteracy, low monthly income, lack of latrine utilization, and low DDS were risk factors of low birth weight. It is then important to strengthen nutritional assessment and interventions during pregnancy, with a special attention for illiterate, and low monthly income pregnant women. Again, there has to be a promotion of latrine utilization and consumption of diversified diets.

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Berhe, K., Weldegerima, L., Gebrearegay, F., Kahsay, A., Tesfahunegn, A., Rejeu, M., & Gebremariam, B. (2021). Effect of under-nutrition during pregnancy on low birth weight in Tigray regional state, Ethiopia; a prospective cohort study. BMC Nutrition, 7(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40795-021-00475-7

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