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Volume 470: debated on Tuesday 8 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many babies in England were born underweight in the most recent period for which figures are available; and what assessment he has made of the principal causes of babies being underweight at birth. (172918)

In 2005-06, the latest year for which we have figures, 42,900 babies were born with birthweights of less than 2,500g. The major cause of low birthweight is low gestational age. This information is from “NHS Maternity Statistics, England 2005-06”, a copy of which is available in the Library.