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Babies Born At Low Birth Weight

In 2012, 7.8% of babies born in Travis County weighed less than 5.5 pounds at birth

Significance of Indicator: Birth weight is associated with infant survival and health. Infants weighing less than 5 pounds 5 ounces (2,500 grams) are classified as low birth weight. Advances in newborn medical care have greatly reduced the number of deaths associated with low birth weight. However, a small percentage of survivors develop mental retardation, learning problems, cerebral palsy and vision and hearing loss. (Source: March of Dimes)

How we are doing on this Indicator: The trend line for low birth weight babies born in Travis County has remained relatively flat since 2006, well below both the state and national percentages.

what the data tell us

 

Definition: The percentage of babies born at a low birth weight, weighing less than 2,500 grams (5 pounds 5 ounces).

Data Source: Texas Department of State Health Services

The story behind the data

There are various factors that can contribute to birth defects, including inadequate prenatal care. In 2006, nearly 40% of all Travis County mothers began prenatal care after the first trimester or received no prenatal care. A lack of or delayed prenatal care was more prevalent for Hispanic mothers (54.3% of all Hispanic mothers) and African American mothers (43.6% of all African American mothers). Rates of uninsured in Travis County are lower than the state, but still well above the national rate, with an estimated 22% of the population lacking health insurance. (Source: Travis County Health and Human Services: 2009 Community Impact Report)

Local efforts to improve the indicator

A closer look at the data

Click any of the section titles below to view related graph and information.

County and State Comparison for Babies Born at Low Birth Weight

With the exception of Caldwell County, Travis and other surrounding counties maintained a low birth weight percentage below the overall state average.

Definition: The percentage of babies born at a low birth weight, weighing less than 2,500 grams (5 pounds 5 ounces).

Data Source: Texas Department of State Health Services, 2002-2007

Data Considerations: n/a

Percentage of Low Birth Weight Infants by Race

Percentage of Black infants born at a low birth weight was significantly higher than White or Hispanic infants.

Definition: n/a

Data Source: Texas Department of State Health Services

Data Considerations: n/a

Prenatal Care by Race/Ethnicity, Travis County

72% of Women who gave birth in 2012 began receiving prenatal care within the first trimester. However, this is only true for 66% of Black or African American women and 59% of Hispanic or Latina women.

Definition: The percent of women who began receiving prenatal care within the first trimester.

Data Source: Texas Department of State Health Services

Data Considerations: The data for White women includes Other and Unknown Race/Ethnicity.