Women's lifelong exposure to neighborhood poverty and low birth weight: a population-based study

Collins, J. W., Jr.; Wambach, J.; David, R. J.; Rankin, K. M.

Matern Child Health J. 2008 May 7; 13(3):326-33

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether women's lifelong residential environment is associated with infant low birth weight. METHODS: We performed race-specific stratified and multivariate binomial regression analyses on an Illinois vital record dataset of non-Latino White and African-American infants (1989-1991) and their mothers (1956-1975) with appended United States census income information. RESULTS: Non-Latino White women (N = 267) with a lifelong residence in low-income neighborhoods had a low birth weight (<2,500 g) incidence of 10.1% vs. 5.1% for White women (N = 10,647) with a lifelong residence in high-income neighborhoods; RR = 2.0 (1.4-2.9). African-American women (N = 18,297) with a lifelong residence in low-income neighborhoods had a low birth weight incidence of 17% vs. 11.7% for African-American women (N = 546) with a lifelong residence in high-income areas; RR = 1.5 (1.2-1.8). The adjusted population attributable risk (PAR) percent of LBW for lifelong residence in low-income neighborhoods was 1.6% for non-Latino White and 23.6% for African-American women. CONCLUSIONS: Non-Latino White and African-American women's lifelong residence in low-income neighborhoods is a risk factor for LBW; however, African-Americans experience a greater public health burden from this phenomenon.

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