Objective: To identify perinatal outcomes associated with low birth weight (LBW).
Methods: A retrospective cohort study in a tertiary maternity hospital. Analysis of the database on 43,499 liveborn infants delivered between 1986 and 2004 with low (n = 6,477) and normal (n = 37,467) birth weight. Outcomes associated with LBW were identified through crude and adjusted risk ratio (RR) and 95%CI with bivariate and multivariate analysis. The main outcomes were: onset of labor, mode of delivery, indication for cesarean section; amniotic fluid, fetal heart rate pattern, Apgar score, somatic gestational age, gender and congenital malformation.
Results: LBW infants showed more frequently signs of perinatal compromise such as abnormal amniotic fluid volume (especially olygohydramnios), nonreassuring patterns of fetal heart rate, malformation, lower Apgar scores and lower gestational age at birth. They were associated with a greater risk of labor induction and cesarean delivery, but lower risk of forceps.
Conclusion: There was a clear association between LBW and unfavorable perinatal outcomes.