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BRIEF RESEARCH ARTICLE
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 57  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 177-180

Evaluation of adjustment methods used to determine prevalence of low birth-weight babies at a rural hospital in Andhra Pradesh, India


1 Sr. Resident, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Mediciti Institute of Medical Sciences, SHARE INDIA, Ghanpur, Medchal Mandal, Ranga Reddy District, AP, India
2 Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
3 Director, Data Center, Mediciti Institute of Medical Sciences, SHARE INDIA, Ghanpur, Medchal Mandal, Ranga Reddy District, AP, India
4 Chairman, SHARE INDIA and Professor of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Correspondence Address:
C Rekha
Sr. Resident, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Mediciti Institute of Medical Sciences, Ghanpur, Medchal - 501 401, Andhra Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-557X.119828

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Accurate reporting of prevalence of low birth weight (LBW) is important for monitoring health of a population. LBW is often underestimated in developing countries due to heaping of the data at 2.5 kg. UNICEF uses an average adjustment factor of 25% to re-classify babies listed as exactly 2.5 kg into the LBW category. From October 2009 to February 2010, we weighed 859 consecutive live births at a rural hospital in Andhra Pradesh, India, using analog and digital scales to evaluate the relative validity of the adjustment factor. Significantly more babies weighed exactly 2.5 kg on analog (13.4%) versus digital (2.2%) scales, showing heaping. Percentage of LBW by digital method (29.5%) was significantly higher compared to the analog method (23%) and with adjustment factors (26.4%). Conventional methods of adjusting birth-weight data underestimate the prevalence of LBW. Sensitive digital weighing machines or better adjustment methods are needed to monitor LBW in developing countries.


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