, Volume 14, Issue 6, pp 978-986

Predictors of Preterm Births and Low Birthweight in an Inner-City Hospital in Sub-Saharan Africa

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Abstract

Adverse birth outcomes remain significant contributors to perinatal mortality as well as developmental disabilities worldwide but limited evidence exists in sub-Saharan Africa based on a conceptual framework incorporating neighborhood context. This study therefore set out to determine the prevalence and risk factors for preterm births and low birthweight in an urban setting from this region. A cross-sectional study of all live births from May 2005 to December 2007 in an inner-city maternity hospital in Lagos, Nigeria. Factors predictive of preterm births and low birthweight were determined by unconditional multivariable logistic regression within a conceptual framework for adverse birth outcomes. Population attributable risk (PAR%) for each factor was also determined. Of the 4,314 newborns enrolled, 859 (19.9%) were preterm and 440 (10.2%) were low birthweight. One-third of mothers received no antenatal care while about 6% had HIV and another 6% had a history of hypertensive disorders. About 43% of the low birthweight infants were born full term. Maternal predictors of preterm delivery and/or low birthweight were marital status, occupation, residential accommodation with shared sanitation facilities, lack of antenatal care, absence of previous cesarean section, hypertensive disorders and antepartum hemorrhage. Gender and intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) were also predictive of low birthweight. IUGR (PAR = 48.74%) and lack of prior cesarean section (PAR = 41.99%) were the leading contributors to preterm birth and/or low birthweight. The burden of preterm and low birthweight deliveries in this setting is associated with modifiable individual and neighborhood-level risk factors that warrant community-oriented public health interventions.

Affiliation of Bolajoko O. Olusanya during the study period: Institute of Child Health & Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust, University College London, 30 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1EH, UK.
An erratum to this article can be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10995-010-0676-6