The incidence of very low birthweight babies (less than 1500 g) and neonatal mortalities in this group were analysed for the 15,608 births to mothers of various racial origins at this hospital during the years 1979-82 inclusive. Very low birth weight occurred less commonly in the European (9.1/1000) and Pakistani (10.1/1000) groups and most commonly in the West Indian group (23.2/1000). Neonatal survival in West Indians, however, was better than in any other group. Analysis of the stillbirths weighing less than 1500 g showed a lower rate in the West Indians compared with that of the European, Pakistani, and Indian groups. There was no evidence of a higher incidence of 'light for dates' in very low birthweight West Indian neonates.
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