Low Birth-Weight Births in Connecticut

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Why This Indicator Matters

Birthweight correlates with a child’s future development and health. Children born under 5.5 pounds have a higher probability of experiencing pre-and post-natal developmental problems, short- and long-term disabilities, and are a greater risk of dying within the first year of life.[i] Among the risk factors for low weight births, intrauterine exposure to tobacco has been cited as a key correlate for low birth weight, small gestational age, and preterm births.[ii] Increased income from the Earned Income Tax Credit (ETIC) has been shown to reduce the incidence of low birthweight births and increase mean birthweights among babies whose mothers received the credit.[iii] Studies suggest this is in part because increased income is linked to increased prenatal care and reduced negative health behaviors.[iv]



[i] World Health Organization. WHA global nutrition targets 2025.Low birth weight policy brief. Available from: http://www.who.int/nutrition/publications/ globaltargets2025_policybrief_lbw/en.

[ii] Ko, T. J., Tsai, L. Y., Chu, L. C., Yeh, S. J., Leung, C., Chen, C. Y., ... & Hsieh, W. S. (2014). Parental smoking during pregnancy and its association with low birth weight, small for gestational age, and preterm birth offspring: a birth cohort study. Pediatrics & neonatology55(1), 20-27.

[iii] Ko, T. J., Tsai, L. Y., Chu, L. C., Yeh, S. J., Leung, C., Chen, C. Y., ... & Hsieh, W. S. (2014). Parental smoking during pregnancy and its association with low birth weight, small for gestational age, and preterm birth offspring: a birth cohort study. Pediatrics & neonatology55(1), 20-27.

[iv] Komro, K. A., Livingston, M. D., Markowitz, S., & Wagenaar, A. C. (2016). The effect of an increased minimum wage on infant mortality and birth weight. American journal of public health106(8), 1514-1516.

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Definitions:  
This indicator reports the number and percentages of babies born weighing fewer than 2500 grams, which is considered low birth weight.








Data Source: Connecticut Department of Public Health, Vital Statistics, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015, Table 4.

Footnotes: Methodology: The total numbers and percentages of low birth weight births were obtained from State Department of Public Health Vital Statistics tables. Counts of five or fewerexcluding zerowere suppressed, as were percentages generated from suppressed totals. Denominators used for calculating percentages exclude records with missing data.

* = suppressed count
a = percentage cannot be generated from a suppressed count