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Health at a Glance 2015

OECD Indicators

image of Health at a Glance 2015

This new edition of Health at a Glance presents the most recent comparable data on the performance of health systems in OECD countries. Where possible, it also reports data for partner countries (Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russian Federation and South Africa). Compared with the previous edition, this new edition includes a new set of dashboards of health indicators to summarise in a clear and user-friendly way the relative strengths and weaknesses of OECD countries on different key indicators of health and health system performance, and also a special focus on the pharmaceutical sector. This edition also contains new indicators on health workforce migration and on the quality of health care.

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Infant health: Low birth weight

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. Risk factors for low birth weight include maternal smoking, 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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