Measurement issues of low birth weight in India
AbstractBackground & Aim: Low birth weight (LBW) is a strong predictor of an individual baby's survival. LBW is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as weight at birth of less than 2500 g.he current study aimed to study the pattern of the reporting system of birth weight in India and examine the heaping at certain digits, assess the agreement between actual birth weight and birth weight reported based on recall, and identify key determinants of birth weight reporting in India. Methods & Materials: The National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3) data was used for the present study. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value were calculated to assess the magnitude of the misclassification bias. In addition, univariate and multivariable analyses were also analyzed. Chi-square test was used to detect the associations and Cohen's kappa statistic was used for agreement between categories of birth weights and birth sizes.Results: Mothers’ recalled assessment of baby’s size as small or normal were in agreement with the categories of birth weight as LBW or normal weight (K = 0.46, P < 0.050). The value of Kappa statistic indicated a moderate agreement between recalled birth size and recorded birth weight.Conclusion: Due to this poor reporting system prevalen in the country, the actual prevalence of LBW can get affected. Method of reporting can also affect the actual scenario of the LBW due to hypothetical or memory recall base birth size.
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