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State of Alaska

Health Indicator Report of Birth Weight: Low

Low birth weight is an important factor affecting neonatal mortality, and a significant determinant of postneonatal mortality. The two main reasons a baby may be born with low birth weight are premature birth (birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy) and fetal growth restriction. Compared to infants of a normal weight, low birth weight infants are at increased risk of infection, impaired immune function, delayed motor and social development, learning disabilities and poor school performance.^1^ [[br]] [[br]] ---- {{class .SmallerFont 1. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Reproductive and birth outcomes: low birth weight. [http://ephtracking.cdc.gov/showRbLBWGrowthRetardationEnv.action]. Accessed November 8, 2016. }}

Notes

** = Data not available. Low birth weight is defined as less than 2,500 grams (about 5 pounds, 8 ounces). Data from the Alaska Bureau of Vital Statistics. Alaska Native is determined using bridged race methodology.

Data Sources

  • [http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/VitalStats/Pages/default.aspx Alaska Health Analytics and Vital Records], Division of Public Health, Alaska Department of Health and Social Services
  • National Vital Statistics System, National Center for Health Statistics, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Definition

Low birth weight (LBW) infants are those weighing less than 2,500 grams (5 lbs 8 oz) at birth, regardless of gestational age. The low birth weight rate is the number of live born infants who weigh less than 2,500 grams, divided by the total number of live births over the same time period.

Numerator

Number of live born infants weighing under 2,500 grams in the resident population for low birth weight.

Denominator

Total number of live births in the resident population.

Healthy People Objective: Low birth weight (LBW)

U.S. Target: 7.8 percent

Other Objectives

Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant to States Program: National Outcome Measure 4.1 - Percent of low birth weight deliveries For more information: [http://mchb.hrsa.gov/programs/titlevgrants/blockgrantguidanceappendix.pdf]

How Are We Doing?

In 2015, 5.8% of live births for all Alaskans were low birth weight in Alaska, a significant increase from the 4.8% recorded for the state in 1990. Live births to Alaska mothers eligible for Medicaid had significantly higher rates of low birth weight than those not eligible for Medicaid. Alaska Whites had lower rates of low birth weight than births to Alaska Native people, Asian/Pacific Islanders, or Blacks in 2015. There are no consistently significant regional differences in low birth weight in Alaska.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

In 2015, 5.8% of live births were low birth weight in Alaska, compared to 8.0% in the U.S. Alaska as a whole has had consistently lower rates of low birth weight than the average for the U.S. In 2014 (the most recent data available), the percentage of low birth weight infants for Alaska Native parents was the same as the national average at 8.0% while previously reporting below the national average back to 1990.

What Is Being Done?

Prevention of unintended pregnancy as well as early and continuous prenatal care may improve infant outcomes. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, women who quit smoking before or during pregnancy reduce the risk of preterm delivery and LBW. Furthermore, women who stop smoking by the first trimester have infants with weight and body measurements comparable with those of nonsmokers. Studies suggest that smoking in the third trimester is particularly detrimental to fetal growth.^2^ Alaska is participating in the Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (CoIIN) to Reduce Infant Mortality and improve birth outcomes. Through CoIIN, Alaska is using evidence-based practices to focus on factors that may influence the rate of infants born with low birth weight; such as smoking cessation (before, during and/or after pregnancy), substance use cessation, and preconception/interconception health.^3^[[br]] [[br]] ---- {{class .SmallerFont 2. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking-50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General, 2014. [http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/reports/50-years-of-progress/]. Published 2014. Accessed November 8, 2016. 3. NICHQ. Collaborative improvement and innovation network to reduce infant mortality. [http://www.nichq.org/childrens-health/infant-health/coiin-to-reduce-infant-mortality]. Accessed November 8, 2016. }}

Evidence-based Practices

The Annie E. Casey Foundation has prepared the KIDS COUNT Indicator Brief on Preventing Low Birth Weight.^4^ This KIDS COUNT Indicator Brief describes five strategies that are essential to any plan aimed at reducing the rate of LBW births: [[br]]Expand access to medical and dental services, taking a lifespan approach to health care [[br]]Focus intensively on smoking prevention and cessation [[br]]Ensure that pregnant women get adequate nutrition [[br]]Address demographic, social, and environmental risk factors [[br]]Support sustained research on the causes of LBW. Other rigorously evaluated programs have been shown to be effective for minimizing negative outcomes for low birthweight infants: [[br]]Nurse-Family Partnership [http://www.childtrends.org/?programs=nurse-family-partnership] [[br]]Early Intervention Program For Low Birth Weight Infants [http://www.childtrends.org/?programs=early-intervention-program-for-low-birth-weight-infants] [[br]]Infant Health and Development Program (IHDP) [http://www.childtrends.org/?programs=infant-health-and-development-program-ihdp] [[br]]Transactional Model of Early Home Intervention [http://www.childtrends.org/?programs=transactional-model-of-early-home-intervention] [[br]] [[br]] ---- {{class .SmallerFont 4. The Annie E. Casey Foundation. KIDS COUNT Indicator Brief Preventing Low Birth Weight. July 2009. [http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED507776.pdf]. Accessed December 19, 2016. }}
Page Content Updated On 04/16/2018, Published on 04/16/2018
The information provided above is from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services' Center for Health Data and Statistics, Alaska Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health (Ak-IBIS) web site (http://ibis.dhss.alaska.gov). The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Wed, 19 September 2018 from Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Center for Health Data and Statistics, Alaska Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health web site: http://ibis.dhss.alaska.gov ".

Content updated: Mon, 16 Apr 2018 10:44:20 AKDT
The information provided above is from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services' Center for Health Data and Statistics AK-IBIS web site (http://ibis.dhss.alaska.gov/). The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Wed, 19 September 2018 19:41:51 from Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Center for Health Data and Statistics, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: http://ibis.dhss.alaska.gov/ ".

Content updated: Mon, 16 Apr 2018 10:44:20 AKDT