Risk Factors Associated with Very Low Birth Weight: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis


  • Nageen Hussain Institute of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, New Campus, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan
  • Muhammad Adil Institute of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, New Campus, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan


Very Low Birth Weight, Meta-Analysis, Extremely LBW, Per Capita GDP, Hypocalcemia, Hypoglycemia


Background: Very Low Birth Weight (VLBW) is due to multiple gestations and reproductive-assisted techniques. Neonatal complications mainly arise in infants with VLBW and Extremely Low Birth Weight (ELBW). The main objective was to study the risk factors associated with VLBW and to conduct a meta-analysis.

Methods: A meta-analysis was done to present the most recent risk variables for VLBW. Electronic databases were searched for information on the suggested topic. Using STATA version 14, the relevant data was extracted, and statistical analysis was conducted.

Results: A total number of 112 studies have been conducted on the topic of VLBW worldwide from 2000 to 2020. Information from many parts of the world was evaluated in which GDP or per capita income, age, and education were followed in prominent regions of the world. As GDP and education level improved, the nutritional status also improved. Fifteen studies have been identified, with five meeting the inclusion criteria for the metanalysis of VLBW <1500g in developing countries. Illiteracy, poverty, mother occupation, hypocalcemia, and hypoglycemia were the common risk factors of VLBW (<0.05).

Conclusion: It was identified that per-capita GDP is inversely proportional to VLBW throughout the world. VLBW in America was found to be significant when compared with central Europe (<0.005), similarly with Southern Europe (<0.03), Northern Europe (<0.00001), Asia (<0.0001), and Africa (<0.0001). Unlike per capita GDP, VLBW was insignificantly related to maternal age in all regions except Africa, where VLBW was significantly associated with maternal age (p<0.0001). In developing countries, illiteracy, poverty, mother occupation, hypocalcemia, and hypoglycemia are the common risk factors for VLBW (<0.05) as the complications related to VLBW are at a high-risk rate, so it is recommended that VLBW babies require special care at the time of birth, especially in poor economic countries.

Author Biography

Nageen Hussain, Institute of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, New Campus, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan

Dr. Nageen Hussain did her PhD in Microbiology and molecular genetics. Her dissertation title was "Mutational analysis of CTLA-4 Gene and HLA association in SLE patients from Lahore-Pakistan." Her field of specialization is Immunogenetics. She has a good record of National (5) and International publications (17). Dr. Nageen Hussain has completed 10 projects awarded by the University of the Punjab and one project awarded by the HIV control program is under progress. She has a teaching experience of 11 years. She has the ability to supervise technical staff and the students. She has the experience to organize workshops (4), seminars (5) and conferences (2). In 2014, she has got two best poster awards and in 2016, she got third best poster award in different conferences. She had presented her research work in Japan, Switzerland, Amsterdam, India, Dubai as well in USA.


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How to Cite

Hussain, N., & Adil, M. . (2022). Risk Factors Associated with Very Low Birth Weight: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. International Journal of Innovations in Science & Technology, 4(3), 891–898. Retrieved from https://journal.50sea.com/index.php/IJIST/article/view/380