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Low Birth Weight Infant

An infant born with a weight of less than five pounds (2,500 grams) at birth is classified as a low birth weight infant. Babies with low birth weight were either born prematurely or are small for their age because their growth was restricted in the womb. Poor maternal health and nutrition may cause low birth weight. Risk factors include inadequate prenatal nutrition, smoking during pregnancy, and infection during pregnancy. Low birth weight infants face a higher risk of death within the first year of life and have higher rates of disability and disease than other infants. Low birth weight is a leading cause of infant mortality throughout world.

Amy N. Marlow


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