Online Program

Narrowing the black/white racial gap: An exploration of socioeconomic predictors of low birth weight in the United States using the linked birth-infant death data, 1995-2001

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Shondra Loggins, Ph.D., Counseling Center, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL
Flavia Andrade, PhD, Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL
Objective: This paper examines the role of socioeconomic determinants (i.e. marital status, education and access to prenatal care) on low birth weight (LBW) for Black and Whites in the U.S. Methods: Data from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention Linked Birth-Infant Death files between 1995 and 2001 were used. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression models were performed to evaluate how socioeconomic determinants influence racial disparities on LBW in the U.S. Results: Blacks are 1.6 times more likely to have a LBW than Whites, even after controlling for maternal age, marital status, education, access to prenatal care and time. LBW has not changed substantially over these years, but LBW increased over this period among Whites. Among White and Black women, increasing maternal age (OR=1.0 CI 1.0-1.0) and having a high school education or higher was associated with a higher likelihood of LBW (Whites OR=1.3, 95% CI 1.2-1.3; Blacks OR=1.5, 95% CI 1.5-1.6). Access to prenatal care was associated with lower LBW among Whites (OR=.4, 95% CI .4-.4) and Blacks (OR=.4, 95% CI .3-.4). Being married was also associated with LBW for Blacks (OR=1.2, 95% CI 1.1-1.3) but not Whites. Conclusion: Results were consistent with other findings in the literature (e.g. race, maternal age and access to prenatal care). However, some results were counterintuitive. Higher educational attainment and marriage are usually protective factors for adverse pregnancy outcomes. Reasons for increased likelihood of LBW may be moderating factors such as multiple births and stress.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Discuss Black and White disparities and trends in LBW between 1995-2001. Discuss the role of socioeconomic determinants (i.e. marital status, education and prenatal care) on LBW. Assess differences in Blacks and Whites.

Keyword(s): Ethnic Minorities, Low Birthweight

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: PhD-Doctoral Candidate in Community Health, Presentations on LBW/IMRs and minority populations, Instructor Community Health
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.