Skip Navigation Links
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


 CDC Home Search A-Z Index
Pediatric and Pregnancy Nutrition Surveillance System
Site Map Topic Index Glossary Bibliography Help
Illustration of a mother and children
Home
Pediatric Data Tables
Pregnancy Data Tables
Publications
What Is PedNSS/PNSS?
How To...
 Read A Data Table
 Review Data Quality
Interpret Data
 What
 When
 Where
 Who
 Who and When
 Case Study: Overweight
 Case Study: Breastfeeding
 Case Study: Low Birthweight
 Disseminate Data
Additional Tools

How To... - Interpret Data - Case Studies - Low Birthweight
Who: Which mothers are most likely to deliver infants of low birthweight?

 
More info on Low Birthweight Case Study:
 Is low birthweight a health problem?
 Is it changing over time?
 Where is the problem?
 Who is affected?
 Is it changing among specific groups over time?
   

Race/ethnicity, age, and education are person characteristics included in PNSS. The PNSS Table 12C, Infant Health Indicators by Race/Ethnicity, Age or Education, shows the prevalence of low birthweight infants by racial/ethnic, age, or education group.


Sample:  PNSS Table 12C, Infant Health Indicators by Race/Ethnicity, Age or Education

table showing birthweight indicators by race/ethnicity or age

1 The prevalence of low birthweight infants is highest among black women (11.8%) compared to the white (7.1%), Hispanic (5.3%), and Asian/Pacific Islander (8.4%) women. The Total or overall prevalence for all racial and ethnic groups in the state is 7.7%.

Note that the prevalence for low birthweight infants among black women is much higher than the overall prevalence for the state (7.7%).

2 Teenagers, particularly young teens, and women 40 years of age and older are more likely to have infants who are low birthweight. The prevalence of low birthweight for teenagers less than 15 years of age was 10.5% and 11.7% for women greater than or equal to 40 years of age compared to the overall prevalence of all women of 7.7% for the state.

The following graph, derived from Table 12C, shows the prevalence of low birthweight for each racial/ethnic group in the state and the national PedNSS as well as the Healthy People 2010 target of 5% for low birthweight.

Prevalence of low birthweight*
by race and ethnicity
Prevalence of low birthweight by race and ethnicity

* Low Birthweight includes VLBW < 1500 g and LBW = 1500-<2500 g.
** Year 2010 target: Reduce low birthweight to < 5.0 percent.

Additional information about Who is delivering low birthweight infants can be found on Table 13C, Maternal Weight Gain and Birth Outcomes by Selected Health Indicators. In this table low birthweight is examined by mother’s prepregnancy BMI, her weight gain during pregnancy, and smoking status. Each of these health indicators is thought to effect low birthweight and this table allows for the analysis of those indicators.

  • Mother’s weight prior to pregnancy has an effect on infant birthweight. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) guidelines have based weight gain recommendations on mother’s prepregnancy Body Mass Index (BMI).
  • Maternal weight gain, also called gestational weight gain, refers to the amount of weight gained from conception to delivery of the infant. “Ideal weight gain” is the recommended amount of weight a women should gain based on her prepregnancy BMI for optimal infant birthweight and infant health (IOM guidelines). Less than ideal weight gains are considered to be a major determinant of low birthweight as well as infant mortality and morbidity.
  • Smoking accounts for 20 to 30 percent of all low birthweight births in the United States. The effect of smoking on low birthweight appears to be attributable to intrauterine growth retardation rather than to preterm delivery.

table showing prevalence of birthweight indicators by select maternal health indicators

1 Women who are underweight prior to pregnancy have the highest prevalence of low birthweight at 11.1% compared 7.5% for normal weight women.
2 Women with < ideal weight gain have a 11.4 % prevalence of low birthweight compared to the prevalence of 7.2% for women who gained the recommended amount of weight or ideal weight gain.
3 The prevalence of low birthweight infants for mothers who smoked during pregnancy was 11%, compared with 6.4% for mothers who did not smoke.

The following graph derived from Table 13C, shows the prevalence of low birthweight for underweight women, women who gained less then the recommended weight gain or < ideal, and who smoked during pregnancy compared to the the Healthy People 2010 target of 5% for low birthweight.

Prevalence of low birthweight*
by select health indicators
Prevalence of low birthweight by select health indicators

* Low birthweight includes VLBW < 1500 g and LBW = 1500-<2500 g.
** Year 2010 target: Reduce low birthweight to < 5.0 percent.


Who: Which mothers are most likely to deliver infants of low birthweight?

The prevalence of low birthweight is highest among black women (11.8%), teenagers less than 15 years of age (10.5%) and women 40 years of age and older (11.7%) compared to the prevalence of 7.7% for all women in the state.
The prevalence of low birthweight is also highest among women that are underweight (11.1%), those that gain less than the recommended weight gain (11.4%) and those who smoked during pregnancy (11%) compared to the prevalence of normal weight women (7.5%), women who gained the recommended amount of weight (7.2%), and women that smoked during pregnancy (6.4%).
 

back to top

 

 



Policies and Regulations | Accessibility

CDC Home | Search | A-Z Index

United States Department of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity

This page last updated March 04, 2010

United States Department of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity