Low birth weight by deprivation

LBW GIMD 201819click graph to expand

The rate of low birth weight births in the most deprived decile improved from 10% in 2001/02-2003/04 to 6.9% in 2011/12-2012/13 with a slight increase in the most recent years to 8.3%. The rate of low birth weight births in the least deprived decile has risen slightly, from 3%  (2000/01-2002/03) to 4.5% (2012/13-2014/15).


Scottish Morbidity Records for maternities (SMR02) have been used here to calculate the proportion of babies born with low birth weights (<2500g). The data have been aggregated into rolling groups of three fiscal years to produce annual averages. 

Further explanation:
A birth weight of less than 2500g (approx 5lbs 8oz) is categorized as “low birth weight”. The figures presented are for singletons only, i.e. they exclude twins, triplets and other multiple births.

Low birth weight can be the end result of many different processes, including prematurity, poor nutrition, and exposure to toxins (such as nicotine) in the womb. Babies with low birth weight are more likely in adult life to have high blood pressure, coronary heart disease and non-insulin dependent diabetes.

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