Rates of Low Birthweight Babies

A low birthweight infant is defined as an infant weighing less than 2,500 grams (5 pounds, 8 ounces) at birth. Preterm infants who have a lower than normal birth weight are at higher risk of experiencing neurological problems, respiratory and gastrointestinal disorders, developmental problems, and slowed growth. Low birthweight infants who survive are more likely than normal weight infants to have brain damage, lung and liver disease, subnormal growth, developmental problems, and other adverse health conditions. The effects of low birthweight follow these infants throughout life, with a greater likelihood of physical, intellectual, and behavioral difficulties. In the long run, higher proportions of low birthweight infants are enrolled in special education classes relative to their normal birthweight counterparts.

 

Infants weighing < 2500g (5lbs, 8oz) at birth
Louisiana, Neighboring States, and United States, 2014

State

Percent

National Ranking

United States

8

-

Louisiana

10.8

49

Alabama

10

48

Arkansas

8.7

38

Mississippi

11.6

50

Texas

8.3

32

Source: America's Health Rankings, http://www.americashealthrankings.org/


Birth Weights Under 2500 Grams As a Percentageo of Total Births
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