Impact of maternal education across two generations on infant birthweight and gestation
We created a multi-generation dataset by linking 2005-2009 resident live birth data to 1960-1997 resident live birth data in Virginia. Maternal information from the recent birth cohort was matched to infant information in the historic birth file using various combinations of mother’s birth date and first, middle, and maiden names. The final analysis dataset included 69,702 first-born singleton infants linked to their mothers own birth certificate.
In the crude analysis, both maternal and paternal educational level in the current and previous generation were associated with similarly increased odds of having an infant born small for gestational age (SGA). In the adjusted model, the strongest predictors of SGA from the current birth were maternal education <12 years (OR= 1.4; 95%CI:1.3, 1.5), father not named (OR= 1.6; 95%CI:1.5, 1.7), and father education <12 years (OR= 1.3; 95%CI:1.2, 1.5). Adjusted SGA predictors from the mother’s own birth certificate included having no father named (OR= 1.6; 95%CI:1.4, 1.7) and paternal education <12 years (OR= 1.2; 95%CI:1.1, 1.3). SGA rates were significantly lower among women who achieved higher levels of education than their mothers.
It is clear that public health programs and policymakers need to incorporate a life course perspective into their efforts in order to fully address the prevention of adverse birth outcomes. Investments in education have the potential for both short and long term payoffs in regarding reproductive outcomes.
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Describe the association between socioeconomic factors throughout the lifecourse and infant gestation and birthweight. Compare the effects of maternal education during the current pregnancy to that of the maternal grandparents on intrauterine growth retardation.
Keyword(s): Maternal and Child Health, Reproductive Health
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was Virginia's State Maternal and Child Health Epidemiologist between 2004-2013, where much of my focus was on reproductive health. I have authored several papers looking at the role of social determinants on children's health and development. I am currently the Associate Director for Research at the VCU Center on Society and Health, an academic research center that studies the connections between social factors and 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.