Ecology of Food and Nutrition

Volume 3 - Number

Article Type: ---- Unspecified ----

This study was conducted to assess the nutritional status of infants at birth in Ardebil, Iran. Data were collected on 903 newborns (424 girls and 479 boys) in the only maternity hospital of the town during May and April 1989. The results showed the following: (1)-Weights and lengths of the majority of the newborns (78.8% and 67.3%, respectively) were at least equal to the respective NCHS 50th percentiles. (2) Baby boys were heavier (3207 +/- 578g) than baby girls (3117 +/- 502g), the difference being statistically significant (P < 0.01). (3) - By weight classification 7.2% suffered from moderate and 0.7% from severe malnutrition, the proportion of mild malnutrition-which can be considered as the lower end of normal-being 17.2%; by the length criterion, 4.9% were undernourished; (4) - Sex had no effect on the nutritional status. (5) - According to the results of cord blood analysis, the mean Hb and Hct values for sexes combined were 13.4 +/- 2.4 g/dl and 40.5 +/- 6.9%, respectively, over half of the neonates being anemic. (6) - The mean LBW% was 7.9% (7.8% for girls and 8.0 for boys). (7) - The data suggest that it is mainly at the fringe of the child-bearing age that maternal age is a greater risk for birth of a baby with a low body weight. Certainly more research is needed in the area of the neonatal nutritional status and factors affecting it in Ardebil and other areas of Iran.