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Health Indicator Report of Low Birth Weight

As birth weight decreases, the risk for death increases. Low birth weight (LBW) infants who survive often require intensive care at birth and are at risk for many health problems including delayed motor and social development or learning disabilities.

Low Birth Weight by Local Health District, Utah, 2020 and U.S., 2019


Low birth weight is defined as less than 2,500 grams (5 pounds, 8 ounces).   [[br]] [[br]] Note: Local health district represents district of mother's residence. [[br]] [[br]] *Use caution when interpreting. The estimate has a coefficient of variation >30% and is therefore deemed unreliable by Utah Department of Health standards. [[br]] [[br]] **The estimate has been suppressed because 1) the relative standard error is greater than 50% or the relative standard error can't be determined, or 2) the observed number of events is very small and not appropriate for publication. [[br]] [[br]] 2019 U.S. rate is final.

Data Sources

  • Utah Birth Certificate Database, Office of Vital Records and Statistics, Utah Department of Health
  • National Vital Statistics System, National Center for Health Statistics, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


The number of live births under 2,500 grams (5 pounds, 8 ounces) divided by the total number of live births over the same time period.


Number of live born infants weighing under 2,500 grams.


Total number of live births.

Healthy People Objective MICH-8.1:

Reduce low birth weight (LBW)
U.S. Target: 7.8 percent
State Target: 6.7 percent

How Are We Doing?

The Utah low birth weight percentage has remained relatively steady from 2010-2020 from 7.0% in 2010 to 7.06% in 2020.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

Nationally, the percentage of low birth weight births has remained essentially unchanged at around 8.2% since 2007. The Utah low birth weight rate in 2020 is approximately 14.9% lower than the national low birth weight rate.

What Is Being Done?

In an effort to reduce the low birth weight rate, emphasis has been placed on promoting preconception health to encourage women to be at optimal health at the time of conception as chronic health conditions, physical, emotional, and behavioral health issues can have a strong impact on the developing fetus. Chronic maternal diseases such as hypertension and diabetes should be diagnosed and optimally managed prior to conception. Optimal weight in women of reproductive age prior to pregnancy should be encouraged as both maternal underweight and obesity are associated with low birth weight infants. Promotion of optimal pregnancy spacing is also important as short interpregnancy intervals (< 18 months) are associated with low birth weight infants. Programs to reduce tobacco use during pregnancy have been developed and are being implemented in many Utah local health departments. The Utah Department of Health has implemented the "Power Your Life" campaign to reach women of reproductive age about the importance of being healthy prior to pregnancy to improve outcomes. The centerpiece of the campaign is the Power Your Life website at []. Women are also encouraged to seek early and continuous care throughout their pregnancies and to achieve an adequate weight gain during pregnancy. All women should receive a thorough formal risk assessment at their initial prenatal visit, with updates throughout pregnancy to identify risk factors for low birth weight and develop appropriate interventions, if needed. Additionally, all women should be educated regarding the urgent maternal warning signs and the importance of fetal kick counts to facilitate early recognition of problems to permit earlier intervention, thereby improving pregnancy outcomes. Standards for assisted reproductive technology should be adhered to in order to reduce the frequency of higher-order multiple pregnancies and to assure optimal outcomes. Women should be at optimal health and be at low risk before undergoing infertility treatment. Pregnant women also need appropriate referrals to services such as Women, Infant and Children's (WIC), and nutritional and psychosocial counseling for at-risk women.

Available Services

'''Power Your Life:''' [][[br]] Public education about how to be at optimal health prior to pregnancy.[[br]] [[br]] Social media for Power Your Life include:[[br]] *Facebook: [][[br]] *Twitter: @Poweryourlife2[[br]] *Pinterest: [][[br]] [[br]] '''Utah Tobacco Quit Line:''' 1-800-784-8669[[br]] En espanol: Llame 1-877-629-1585[[br]] Free professional coaching to guide you through the quitting process. '''Baby Your Baby:''' 1-800-826-9662[[br]] [][[br]] A resource to answer pregnancy related questions and and locate services for the public. '''MotherToBaby:'''[[br]] Phone - 1-800-822-2229[[br]] Text - 1-855-999-3525[[br]] Email -[[br]] A service to answer questions about what's safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding.[[br]] [[br]] Social media for MotherToBaby include:[[br]] *Facebook: [][[br]] *Twitter: @MotherToBaby[[br]] *Pinterest: [][[br]] [[br]] '''Baby Watch Early Intervention Hotline:'''[[br]] 1-801-273-2998 (Main)[[br]] 1-800-961-4226 (Toll free)[[br]] Utah network of services for children, birth to three years of age, with developmental delay or disabilities. '''University of Utah Health Care Parent-to-Parent Support Group:''' 1-801-581-2098[[br]] Support program for families of high risk/critically ill newborns.
Page Content Updated On 10/22/2021, Published on 12/03/2021
The information provided above is from the Utah Department of Health and Human Services IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Thu, 22 February 2024 1:32:20 from Utah Department of Health and Human Services, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Fri, 3 Dec 2021 12:02:43 MST