Examining racial disparities and stress predictors of low birth weight using data from the national survey of family growth
Objective: This paper explores the role of stress in explaining racial disparities in low birth weight (LBW) between Black and White women in the U.S. between 2006 and 2010. Methods: Data from the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) were used (n=18,021). We focus on several predictive stressors including SES individual level stressors, SES household level stressors, access to quality care, culture, and emotional/social support. Logistic regression and multivariate statistical models were used to explore the role of stressors in explaining LBW disparities among Black and White women. Results: Prevalence of LBW was 5.1% for Whites and 9.4% for Blacks. Among White women, LBW was positively associated with working during pregnancy (OR=1.5, 95% CI 1.0-2.3), paying for baby's birth with government resources (OR=2.1, 95% CI 1.4-3.1), and receiving public assistance from the government (OR=1.5, 95% CI 1.1-1.9) were positively associated with LBW; and negatively associated with prenatal care (OR=.6, 95% CI .4-.9). Among Black women, maternal age (OR=1.0, 95% CI 1.0-1.1) and paying for the baby's birth with government resources (OR=1.7, 95% CI 1.0-2.7) were associated with LBW, but higher education (high school or higher) was negatively associated with LBW (OR=.7, 95% CI .5-.9). Conclusion: This study confirms the racial and socioeconomic disparities between Blacks and Whites. We analyzed a large number of stressors at the individual, household and societal levels. Poor women of both races who used government resources to pay for the baby's birth had higher likelihood of having a LBW; the remaining evaluated stressors varied by race.
Diversity and culture
Public health or related research
Discuss Black and White disparities in LBW
Explain racial disparities in low birth weight (LBW) by discussing the role of stress in Black and White women in the U.S.
Keyword(s): Low Birthweight, Ethnic Minorities
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