Malnutrition occurs worldwide with very high incidence and prevalence in developing countries. According to WHO reports 20-45% population of Pakistan is malnourished. Most of them belong to poor socio-economic class. Women and young infants are more vulnerable to this problem and constitute the major proportion.
A prospective study was conducted at the department of gynaecology and obstetrics, Lahore General Hospital. Aims and objectives of the study were to find out the prevalence of malnourished mothers who delivered in tertiary care center, the incidence of low birth weight infants delivered in tertiary care center, relationship between mothers and their low birth weight infants and any association between age of the mothers and low birth weight infants. A cohort of 200 mother and child pair was studied.
Variables include healthy mothers having body mass index (BMI>19), malnourished mothers (BMI<18). Infants were categorized as low birth weight infants (birth weight <2.5kg) or otherwise normal birth weight infants (Wt>2.5kg). Extreme of age was labelled when maternal age is either less than 20 years or more than 40 years.
Following results were obtained. Out of 200 mothers, 60 mothers (30%) were malnourished and rest had normal BMI. Among infants they bore, 63 (31.5%) were LBW and rest of 137 neonates (68.5%) had normal birth weight. Study confirmed that there is a strong relationship between malnourished mothers and LBW infants (P value<0.001). Maternal age also had strong association with incidence of low birth weight infants (P value<0.001).