International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction

, Volume 17, Issue 6, pp 1432–1441 | Cite as

Effect of Khat Use During Pregnancy on the Birth Weight of Newborn in Jimma, Ethiopia

  • Kenfe TesfayEmail author
  • Mubarek Abera
  • Mekitie Wondafrash
  • Markos Tesfaye
Original Article


Today, drug misuse and abuse is becoming a major problem worldwide. Birth weight of a newborn remains an important predictor of infant and child morbidity and mortality. In 2006, approximately one in four newborns in Jimma Zone, Ethiopia, had low birth weight. About 19% of pregnant women attending antenatal care in heath institutions of Jimma Zone were using khat during pregnancy. However, there is a lack of research on predictors of low birth weight especially the potential effect of khat use during pregnancy. To examine the effect of khat use during pregnancy on birth weight of newborn in Jimma town, Ethiopia. Institution-based case-control study design was conducted on a total of 336 mother-newborn pairs recruited at birth from public health facilities in Jimma town during April–June, 2013. One hundred twelve mothers who gave a live birth at term with a birth weight of < 2.5 kg were considered as cases, and 224 mothers who gave a live birth at term with a birth weight of ≥ 2.5 kg were considered as controls. Study subjects were selected consecutively. Maternal khat use during pregnancy was assessed using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) scale. Data were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences software (SPSS) for Windows version 16. Logistic regression analysis was employed to examine the independent effect of maternal khat use during pregnancy on the birth weight of the newborn. The internal reliability (Cronbatch’s α) for the CIDI scale was 0.74. The odds of low birth weight among babies born from mothers who used khat during pregnancy were 12 times higher compared to those born from non-users. The odds of low birth weight among babies born from mothers who gained weight less than 10 kg during pregnancy were 11 times higher than those born from mothers who gained weight greater than 10 kg during pregnancy. The odds of low birth weight among babies born from mothers who had a birth interval of less than 3 years from the previous delivery were 3.5 times higher compared to those babies born from mothers who had a birth interval of greater than 3 years. Maternal khat use during pregnancy is strongly associated with low birth weight of the newborn. The observed association between maternal khat use during pregnancy and low birth weight of the newborn calls for public health interventions to reduce maternal khat use during pregnancy and its consequence on the health of the newborn.


Khat use Birth weight Ethiopia 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical approval was sought from the research ethical review committee of College Health Sciences of Jimma University. Written informed consent was obtained from every study subject before the interview.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenfe Tesfay
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Mubarek Abera
    • 3
  • Mekitie Wondafrash
    • 4
  • Markos Tesfaye
    • 3
  1. 1.Psychiatry Nursing DepartmentMekelle UniversityMekelleEthiopia
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatrySt. Paul’s Hospital Millennium Medical CollegeAddis AbabaEthiopia
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryJimma UniversityJimmaEthiopia
  4. 4.Department of Population and Family HealthJimma UniversityJimmaEthiopia

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