Sample Nursing Essays on Epidemiology: Low Birth Weight
In our group discussion forum, we discovered that low birth weights are cases whereby a baby is born measuring less than 2.5 kilograms whereas extreme low birth weight occurs when a baby is born with their weight being less than 3.25 pounds. Newborns who are born with low birth weight are more susceptible to die within the first year of birth. They are prone to suffer from many physical, and developmental health issues. Most low birth infants are born prematurely or, are, because of fetal growth restriction. With all the innovations in technology, it is surprising that low birth weight is still an issue and is on the rise.
In addition, we also found out low birth weight is a result of drug abuse. However, other factors that may contribute to low birth weight include maternal hypertension, inadequate weight gain when a mother is pregnant, or obstetric interventions. More so, the rate of low birth weight which should not be an issue in this century has continued to cause concern. A good example is a study done by (“International Notes Update: Incidence of Low Birth Weight,” 2017) which shows how the rate of low birth weight has dropped but with minimal margins. In their research, statistics for 2012 indicate that children born with low birth weight were at 7.99 percent while those born with very low birth weight were at1.42 percent. While the previous one, done in 2006, was at low birth weight, 8.26 percent while very low birth weight was at 1.49 percent. The study shows that there was a decrease in low birth weight incidences but minor.
Consequently, there is the issue of race which happens to play a role in low birth weight which is interesting. One’s race can determine an infant’s birth weight. It may be surprising, but it is a fact. According to “Low Birth Weight, Child Health USA 2013”, (2017).Non-Hispania women recorded the highest cases of low birth weight and very low birth weight which they found to be at 13.18 and 2.94 percent correspondingly, which they say that, it is twice or thrice larger than babies born to women from other races and cultural groups. “When compared to non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, U.S.-born Mexican-origin Hispanic, foreign-born Mexican-origin Hispanic, other Hispanic, Native American, and Asian mothers it was realized that only non-Hispanic black mothers have a low birth weight disadvantage” as stated by Insaf & Talbot (2016). The disadvantage was mainly due to lack of prenatal care which is very important for expectant mothers.
The geographical region is another interesting factor that contributes to low birth weight. According to research, done by Insaf & Talbot, (2016), they listed the incidences of low birth weight by regions as 31.1% in Middle South Asia and 19.7% in Asia as a whole to 14.0% in Africa, 10.1% in Latin America, 6.8% in North America, and 6.5% in Europe. From the list, regions like Latin America, North America, and Europe seem to have the least cases of low birth weight. It comes from the fact that the three areas are well equipped technologically and have resources available to handle the low birth weight.
Through the case study, we found out how serious the issue of low birth weight is all over the world. Also, the issue can be addressed and handled if an effort is put to address the concern. If I were given one hundred thousand dollars to deal with the issue of, racial disparities in low birth weight I would begin a foundation that would bring women from different ethnic groups together and help them address low birth weight issues.
Insaf, T. Z., & Talbot, T. (2016). Identifying areas at risk of low birth weight using spatial epidemiology: a small area surveillance study. Preventive medicine, 88, 108-114.
International Notes Update: Incidence of Low BirthWeight. (2017). Cdc.gov. Retrieved 28 September 2017, from https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00000389.htm
Low Birth Weight, Child Health USA 2013. (2017). Mchb.hrsa.gov. Retrieved 28 September 2017, from https://mchb.hrsa.gov/chusa13/perinatal-health-status-indicators/p/low-birth-weight.html