BACKGROUND: Since the Doi Moi reform 1986 economic conditions in Vietnam have changed significantly and positive health and health care developments have been observed. International experience shows that improved economic conditions in a country can reduce the risk of perinatal mortality, decrease the risk of low birth weight and increase the mean birth weight in newborns. The Health and Demographic Surveillance Site (HDSS) FilaBavi in Bavi district outside Hanoi city has been operational since 1999. An open cohort of more than 12,000 households (52,000 persons) has been followed primarily with respect to demography, economy and education. The aim of this research is to study trends in birth weight as well as birth and delivery practices over the time period 1999-2010 in FilaBavi in relation to the social and economic development.
METHODS: Information about birth weight, sex, place and method of delivery, mother's age and education as well as household economy of 10,114 children, born from 1999 to 2010, was obtained from the routine data collection in the HDSS.
RESULTS: Over the study period the mean birth weight remained at the same level, about 3,100 g, in spite of increased economic resources and technology development. At the individual child level we found associations between birth weight and household economy as well as the education of the mother. Hospital delivery increased from about 35% to 65% and the use of Caesarian section increased from 2.6% to 10.1%.
CONCLUSION: During the twelve years studied, household income as well as the use of modern technology increased rapidly. In spite of that, the mean and variation of birth weight did not change systematically. It is suggested that increasing gaps in economic conditions and misallocation of resources, possibly to overuse of technology, are partly responsible.
2013. Vol. 13, 41- p.