189336 Effect of Hurricane Katrina: Births before and after

Monday, October 27, 2008: 4:30 PM

Brady E. Hamilton, PhD , Division of Vital Statistics, National Center for Health Statistics, CDC, Hyattsville, MD
The study compares births for the Hurricane Katrina affected areas for a 12 month period before and after the disaster to provide a detailed demographic and public health analysis of the impact. The study is based on 2004-2006 birth certificate data, collected by the National Center for Health Statistics. The geographic coverage focuses on the Federal Emergency Management Agency designated disaster areas, the 91 counties or perishes of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi eligible for individual and public assistance. Births are analyzed by race and Hispanic origin of mother, age of mother, marital status, prenatal care, method of delivery, birthweight, and gestational age of infant. Many comparisons are not statistically significant for the affected areas. However, statistically significant comparisons do show marked differences between the areas on a number of demographic and heath characteristics. For example, the number of births in Louisiana decreased after the storm whereas births in Alabama and Mississippi increased. Likewise, births to non-Hispanic black women in Louisiana also decreased but births to these women in Mississippi increased and were essentially unchanged in Alabama. Cesarean deliveries too decreased in Louisiana but again increased in Mississippi and remained essentially unchanged in Alabama. Finally, the percent of preterm and low birthweight births increased for the affected area of Alabama but were essentially unchanged for the areas of Louisiana and Mississippi. Vital statistic data provide a unique view of a region's population, both before and after a disaster, as well as provide a base to monitor repopulation.

Learning Objectives:
To be able to assess the impact of Hurricane Katrina on births and public health based on data from the vital statistics registration system.

Keywords: Birth Outcomes, Maternal and Child Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked extensively with birth certificate data for individual states and have analyzed the impact of Hurricane Katrina on these data.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.