Low birth weight in a hospital in a reference maternity in Douala; clinical cut-off, prevalence, predictors and early materno-neonatal outcome.


Tamambang R Interne ;Mbuagbaw L ;Njim T Physician ;Njie A ; Choukem SP


CaHReF 2016, Yaoundé Conges hall, 23 – 26 August 2016 , PL019


Faculty of medicine and biomedical sciences. University of Yaounde


WHO has set the traditional cut-off of Low birth weight (LBW) at 2500g but new guidelines has proposed the use of region/country-specific cut-off values for clinical use. No study has been done to ascertain the cut-off value of LBW in an urban area in Cameroon.

The objectives of this study were to determine the cut-off value, prevalence, predictors and early neonatal/maternal outcomes of LBW babies delivered at St. Albert the Great Hospital Douala (SAGHD) and Douala Laquitinie Hospital (DLH)

A 6 year retrospective and 3 months prospective was carried out on consenting pregnant women- new born pairs at the DLH and SAGHD from 1st of January to 15th of March 2016. For the retrospective study, all files of patients who delivered in the SAGHD from 2010 to 2016 was studied. While in the prospective study, a convenient consecutive sampling was implemented as every patient who delivered in the two hospital was included in the study. Data was entered and analysed using epi-info version 7.

The total of 8056 records were assessed during the retrospective phase. The 10th percentile of birth weight was 2650g. In the prospective phase 448 participants were recruited and the prevalence of birth weight using the cut-off value of 2650g was 15% which was significantly different from the prevalence of 9.1% using the traditional cut-off value. Independent predictors of LBW included; maternal age<20yrs(p-value< 0.01 OR:0.3, CI: 1.0-0.9) , gestational age < 37weeks (p-value<0.01, OR:34.5 CI:15.6-76.3), previous LBW (p-value=0.02, OR:2.8 CI:1.2-6.7 ), pre-pregnancy BMI<18kg/m2 (p-value=0.01,OR:4.2,CI:1.0-17.6). Early neonatal outcome of LBW infants were; neonatal asphyxia (p –value<0.01), and fetal death (p<0.01).

Our study suggests that the cut-off value of LBW is 2650g in Douala the economic capital of Cameroon. Maternal age less than 20yrs, pre-pregnancy underweight, previous history of LBW and prematurity are predisposing factors for LBW. Babies below this cutoff are at higher risk of having neonatal asphyxia. This value should therefore be suggested as clinical cut-off in this urban area so as to allow specific care to mothers and their babies. Measures to prevent aforementioned predictors for LBW should also be investigated and implemented.


Low Birth Weight, cut-off value, prevalence, predictors, outcome, Douala, Cameroon