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Some causes of extremely low birth weight babies are from the mother smoking or using illegal drugs during pregnancy, congenital infections, metabolic disorders, or an abnormality of the chromosomes (Lewis, 2014). Cultural disparities can be related to these causes for reasons of low income and/or lack of prenatal care. Statistics show that the rate of extremely low birth weights has had a steady increase since 1981 and is expected to continue to rise. The reason is believed to be from older women who are having children and because there is an increased use of infertility procedures that are causing multiple births (, n.d.).

The effects of low birth weight babies can be very costly, time-consuming, and an emotional challenge for the caregiver. It is believed that Autism, Developmental Disabilities, and Cerebral Palsy are all related to low birth weight babies, and prevention efforts are being made in this area to reduce the incidence of these diseases (HealthyPeople,gov, n.d.). It also can affect the community by increasing the economic burden. Oftentimes special education programs will be needed for these children, and health care costs will be higher simply because these children will have an increase in health-related issues (Green, 2018).