251861 Social determinants of preterm birth: An overview

Monday, October 31, 2011: 8:30 AM

Diane M. Ashton, MD, MPH , Office of the Medical Director, March of Dimes, White Plains, NY
The World Health Organization has stated that “Social determinants of health are the economic and social conditions that influence the health of people and communities." In other words the circumstances of our lives, not only medical care, affect health, the outcome of pregnancy, and preterm birth. There is a connection between the circumstances in which fetal life develops, the environment where people are born and live during the first few years of life and their health outcomes later in life. The social determinants of health help to explain health inequities, the systematic disparities in health between social groups. Social determinants of health, such as poverty, unequal access to health, disparities in education, stigma, contribute to health inequities. These inequities exist in pregnancy outcomes and preterm birth. Understanding the importance of the social factors on health can help us find solutions and improve health outcomes. WHO uses three principles of action to guide its work to eliminate health inequities for local communities throughout the world.

Learning Objectives:
At the end of the presentation, the participant will be able: • To define social determinants of health and social determinants of health equity • To describe the impact of social determinants of health on preterm birth • To apply the WHO three principles of action to improving the outcomes of pregnancy and the prevention of preterm birth

Keywords: Social Justice, Pregnancy Outcomes

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am Deputy Medical Director of the March of Dimes. My major responsibilities at the Foundation, which I joined in 2003, is the March of Dimes Prematurity Campaign, which seeks to raise public awareness of the growing problem of prematurity and help reduce the rate of premature birth. I was Co-Principal Investigator of the Kentucky-based program, Healthy Babies Are Worth the Wait, a collaborative demonstration project to reduce preterm birth rates. I served as the Director of Service for Women’s Health in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Kings County Hospital Center, in Brooklyn, New York, until April of 2004. Previously, I served as Medical Director of the Bureau of Maternity Services and Family Planning for the New York City Department of Health. After receiving my undergraduate degree in Biology from New York University, I received my medical degree from Cornell University Medical College in New York, and completed my clinical training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City. I earned a Master’s in Public Health from Columbia University School of Public Health. I am board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and am a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and a member of the National Medical Association and the New York Gynecologic Society. I have published papers on topics in obstetrics and gynecology, including the care of high risk women in pregnancy.
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.