Polk County Health Department

Low Birth Weight

A baby is considered low birth weight when it weighs less than 5.5 pounds at birth. According to CDC, low birth weight is one of the leading causes of infant mortality in the nation. Babies born at a low weight have a higher risk of health complications throughout their entire life, including brain development and respiratory problems.

Between 2010-2015, the rate of total low birth weight babies in Polk County has fluctuated slightly, but stayed within 6 – 8% of all births. 

During this time frame, data shows significant differences across race/ethnicity lines. African American women had a higher rate of low birth weights babies in comparison with Whiate, Asian and Hispanic women.

Contact Us

Phone: (515)-286-3798
Fax: (515)-286-2033
Toll free: 866-209-1300

Address: 1907, Carpenter Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50314