CT Data is no longer making this information available except in their archives due to concerns about the data quality on the birth certificates.
Low birth weight is under 2500 grams, or about 5.5 pounds. According to the March of Dimes, women who are low income and poorly educated are more likely to have a low birth weight babies.
The United States Department of Health and Human Services, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, in its report, A Healthy Start, Begin Before Baby's Born, states that babies born to mothers who received no or non-adequate prenatal care are more likely to be born at low birth weight. Multiple births may also be a factor.
Low Birth weight babies are more likely to have medical problems as infants, including heart, intestine, and breathing problems. They are also more likely to have medical problems as adults, including diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
Research shows that children with LBW are at increased risk of having cognitive and school performance problems, and the risk increases as the weight at birth decreases.
LBW children have greater difficulty performing tasks associated with reading, spelling and math. They also tend to be more aggressive, inattentive, and hyperactive. Low birth weight can increase issues with learning capabilities as the child gets older. According to a study published in the December 6, 2011 print issue of Neurology, babies born at a very low birth weight are more likely to have memory and attention problems than babies born at a low to normal weight. Local early childhood educators and experts say this can have an impact on a child's overall development and learning.
Specific risks for the preterm neonate
Preterm infants usually show physical signs of prematurity in reverse proportion to the gestational age. As a result they are at risk for numerous medical problems affecting different organ systems.
There are also neurological problems, cerebral palsy and hemorrhage, the latter affecting 25 percent of babies born preterm, usually before 32 weeks of pregnancy. Mild brain bleeds usually leave no or few lasting complications, but severe bleeds often result in brain damage or even death. Neurodevelopmental problems have been linked to lack of maternal thyroid hormones at a time when their own thyroid is unable to meet postnatal needs.
Children born preterm are more likely to have white matter brain abnormalities early on causing higher risks of cognitive dysfunction. White matter connectivity between the frontal and posterior brain regions are critical in learning to identify patterns in language. Preterm children are at a greater risk for having poor connectivity between these areas leading to learning disabilities.
Cardiovascular complications may arise from the failure of the ductus arteriosus to close after birth.
Respiratory problems are common, specifically respiratory distress syndrome and chronic lung disease.