Online Program

Prenatal care, smoking, and low birth weight

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 10:45 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Towanda Street, MA, Family Science, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Sandra Hofferth, PhD, Department of Family Science, University of Maryland, College Park, College Park, MD
Background: Infants born at low birth weight (LBW) are at increased risk of mortality. In spite of declines in LBW in the U.S., its incidence  is still unacceptably high compared to other countries.  This study addressed the role of maternal health behaviors (e.g., prenatal care visits and tobacco usage) in LBW. 

Objective: This study examined two research questions: Are women who fail to obtain prenatal care within the first trimester at increased risk of having a baby less than 2,500g? Will prenatal care that addresses maternal smoking potentially reduce the risk of LBW? 

Methods: Using data from a random sample of the 2008 Linked Birth and Infant Death Data Set, we examined 96,667 singleton births in the U.S. to evaluate the association between inadequate prenatal care and LBW using multivariate logistic regression. Controls for mothers’ age, education, and race were included.

Results: Infants born to mothers receiving inadequate prenatal care were 23% more likely to be born LBW (aOR = 1.234, 95% CI= 1.163-1.309) compared those born to mothers who received adequate care.   Infants born to mothers who smoked were 78% more likely to be born LBW (95% CI= 1.626-1.956).  When smoking was added to the prenatal care-LBW model, there was a 5% reduction in the adjusted odds ratio of inadequate prenatal care (aOR = 1.184, 95% CI=1.112-1.261).

Conclusion: In conclusion, this study suggests that one of the ways prenatal care can improve birth outcomes is by reducing maternal smoking, which reduces LBW risk.  

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Identify maternal risk behaviors associated with low birth weight. Describe the measurement of adequate prenatal care. Explain how adequate prenatal care could reduce LBW by reducing smoking.

Keyword(s): Birth Outcomes, Prenatal Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Family Science PhD student at the University of Maryland and I completed the research and analysis on this study. My area of interest is aligned with studying the impact of maternal health behaviors on birth outcomes.
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.