Greatest threat to newborn babies: Low birthweight

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Low birthweight may be the greatest threat to newborn babies worldwide.

This according to a new report published Wednesday from UN agencies and health organizations.

The study reveals 80 percent of all newborns who die every year have low birthweight.

Almost half of the babies were born in southern Asia and about a quarter were from sub-Saharan Africa.

However, the disturbing trend is also a problem in high-income countries where there has been little progress over the past 15 years.

Experts say a newborn’s weight is the most important predictor of overall health throughout life.

It can lead to child mortality as well as increase the likelihood of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease later on.

Researchers warn this is a wake-up call for countries urging governments to improve care for newborns and their mothers. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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