Document Type



Community Health Sciences


Reported are the results of a community-based prospective study in four urban squatter settlements in Karachi that was carried out to assess the incidence of and risk factors for intrauterine growth retardation. The incidence of term intrauterine growth retardation was 24.4% among 738 singleton births. The socioeconomic and biological risk factors that were found to be statistically significant in a bivariate analysis were included in a logistic regression model to assess their independent effects. The major risk factors were low level of maternal education, paternal unemployment, consanguinity, short birth-to-conception intervals, short maternal stature, and low maternal weight. The population risk estimates suggest the desirability of public health interventions to improve maternal weight and birth spacing and of improvements in socioeconomic conditions, especially maternal education. Public education programmes to discourage consanguineous marriages should also be considered.


Bulletin of the World Health Organization