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Birth Weight

Narrative

Low Birth Weight. Disorders related to short gestation and low birth weight are the second leading cause of neonatal mortality in the United States. In 2008, 118,712 babies born to residents of U.S. cities with populations over 100,000 were low birth weight (weighing less than 2,500 grams, or 5 pounds 8 ounces); this represents 8.7 percent of infants in U.S. cities. The rate of low birth weight among urban infants was 6 percent higher than the rate nationwide (8.2 percent). Although this has been a persistent disparity, the gap has decreased somewhat since 1990.

Very Low Birth Weight. Infants born very low birth weight (less than 1,500 grams, or 3 pounds 4 ounces) are at highest risk for poor health outcomes. In 2008, 1.6 percent of live births in cities with populations over 100,000 were very low birth weight. This exceeded the rate of very low birth weight nationwide (1.5 percent) by 7 percent.

Graphs

This image is described in the Data section.

infants born with low birth weight graph

This image is described in the Data section.

infants born with very low birth weight graph

Data

Infants Born Low Birth Weight in U.S. Cities with Populations over 100,000, 1990−2008

Percent of infants:

  • Total U.S. cities increased from approximately 8.5 in 1990 to 8.7 in 2008
  • Total U.S. population increased from approximately 7.0 in 1990 to 8.2 in 2008

Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. FY2010 CHIP Annual Enrollment Report. Accessed May 2011.

Infants Born Very Low Birth Weight in U.S. Cities with Populations over 100,000, 1990−2008

Percent of infants:

  • Total U.S. cities remained relatively stable at 1.6
  • Total U.S. population remained relatively stable at 1.5

Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. FY2010 CHIP Annual Enrollment Report. Accessed May 2011.


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