Birth problems [Perinatal conditions] are those which occur in babies from the seventh month of pregnancy until the baby is a week old (the perinatal period). For death rates here, the conditions have to start in the perinatal period, but the actual deaths occassionally occur after the perinatal period. This is different from perinatal mortality (Stillbirths Map 259 and Early neonatal mortality (first week deaths) Map 260) which includes all deaths from e.g. Congenital anomalies Map 471, which start earlier and e.g. Tetanus Map 385, which also occurs at any age, provided that each death occurs in the perinatal period.
Illnesses of the newborn are the sum of the following (with their contribution to the total Perinatal conditions deaths in 2002):
1. Low birth weight, Map 409, (52% of deaths).
2. Lack of oxygen and injuries at birth [Birth asphyxia and birth trauma], Map 410, (29% of deaths).
3. Other perinatal conditions, no map, (19% of deaths).
Apart from causing death, perinatal conditions can cause lifelong disability, such as cerebral palsy (spastic paralysis).
In 2002 Birth problems caused 20.6% of deaths of children under age 15 years, 3.6% of all deaths in poor territories and 6.6% of all deaths in very poor territories. Death rates per million people varied from over 2000 deaths in 4 territories, to under 200 in 90 territories and under 20 in 10 territories.
Global Burden of Disease estimated in 2002 Birth problems caused 2.7% of all years spent living with a disability worldwide, 2.8% of all male and 2.6% of all female disability. GBD also estimated it to cause 6.9% of all Male, 6.2% of all Female, 5.9% of all Poor territory and 8.0% of all Very poor territory Burden of Disease (Disability Adjusted Lost Years).
Birth problems caused 4.3% of all deaths worldwide in 2002, an average of 396 deaths per million people per year.