Factors associated with preterm birth and low birth weight in Abu Dhabi, The United Arab Emirates

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International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health


© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Both preterm birth and low birth weight (LBW) represent major public health problems worldwide due to their association with the catastrophic effects of morbidity and mortality. Few data exist about such adverse pregnancy outcomes. The current study aimed to investigate the prevalence of and factors associated with preterm birth and LBW among mothers of children under two years in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Data were collected in clinical and non-clinical settings across various geographical areas in Abu Dhabi. The data were analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. A total of 1610 mother–child pairs were included in the current study. Preterm birth rate was 102 (6.3%) with a 95% confidence interval [CI] (6.1%, 6.5%) and the LBW rate was 151 (9.4%) with a 95% CI (9.3%, 9.5%). The mean (SD) of gestational age (GA) and birth weight at delivery was 39.1 (1.9) weeks and 3080.3 (518.6) grams, respectively. Factors that were positively associated with preterm birth were Arab mothers, maternal education level below secondary, caesarean section, and LBW. LBW was associated with female children, caesarean section (CS), first child order, and preterm birth. The current study highlighted the need for further interventional research to tackle these public health issues such as reducing the high CS rate and improving maternal education.

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