LOW AND VERY LOW BIRTH WEIGHT
Low Birth Weight
Disorders related to short gestation and low birth weight are the
second leading cause of neonatal mortality in the U.S.1
In 2002, 103,932 babies (8.5 percent) born to residents of U.S.
cities with populations over 100,000 were of low birth weight (weighing
less than 2,500 grams, or 5.5 pounds). The 2002 percentage of urban
infants born at low birth weight was 9 percent higher than the national
rate of 7.8 percent.
Very Low Birth Weight
Infants born at very low birth weight (less than 1,500 grams,
or 3 pounds and 4 ounces) are at highest risk for poor health outcomes.
In 2002, 1.7 percent of live births in cities with populations over
100,000 were of very low birth weight. This rate exceeded the national
very low birth weight rate by 13 percent.
1 The leading cause of neonatal mortality is congenital