Health at a Glance 2013
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Health at a Glance 2013

OECD Indicators

This seventh edition of Health at a Glance provides the latest comparable data on different aspects of the performance of health systems in OECD countries. It provides striking evidence of large variations across countries in health costs, health activities and health results of health systems. Key health indicators provide information on health status including suicide and life expectancy, the determinants of health, health care activities and health expenditure and financing in OECD countries. Each health indicator in the book is presented in a user-friendly format, consisting of charts illustrating variations across countries and over time, brief descriptive analyses highlighting the major findings conveyed by the health data, and a methodological box on the definition of the indicator and any limitations in data comparability.

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Infant health: Low birth weight You or your institution have access to this content

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Author(s):
OECD

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Low birth weight – defined as newborns weighing less than 2 500 grams – is an important indicator of infant health because of the close relationship between birth weight and infant morbidity and mortality. There are two categories of low birth weight babies: those occurring as a result of restricted foetal growth and those resulting from pre-term birth. Low birth weight infants have a greater risk of poor health or death, require a longer period of hospitalisation after birth, and are more likely to develop significant disabilities (UNICEF and WHO, 2004). Risk factors for low birth weight include maternal smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, poor nutrition, low body mass index, lower socio-economic status, and having had in-vitro fertilisation treatment and multiple births.

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