Age-related patterns of preterm birth (<37 weeks, PTB) rates among African-American and non-Hispanic White mothers: The effect of paternal involvement
Objective: To assess the extent to which paternal involvement modifies the relationship between maternal age and PTB rates among African-American and non-Hispanic White mothers.
Methods: Stratified and multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed on an Illinois transgenerational dataset with appended US census income information of infants (1989-1991) and their mothers (1956-1976). Using information listed on infants' birth certificates, paternal involvement was categorized as unmarried with father not named (uninvolved), unmarried but father named (partially involved), or married (involved).
Results: In Cook County IL, among African-American mothers (n=39,991) with uninvolved fathers and lifelong residence in lower income neighborhoods, PTB rates increased from 18.8% for teens to 21.5% for 30-35 year-olds (p=0.006). Most striking, among African-Americans with involved fathers and lifelong residence in lower income neighborhoods, PTB rates decreased from 16.4% for teens to 12.5% for 30-35 year-olds. Interestingly, among African-Americans with uninvolved fathers and lifelong residence in higher income neighborhoods, PTB rates rose from 16% for teens to 25% for 30-35 year-olds. White mothers (n=31,981) did not demonstrate “weathering” regardless of paternal involvement and neighborhood income.
Conclusions: Paternal involvement, or something closely related to it, reverses the weathering pattern of rising PTB rates with advancing age among African-American mothers, independent of neighborhood income. Greater research and public health attention to the contribution of fathers to the racial disparity in PTB rates is warranted.
Describe the relationship between paternal involvement and the age-related preterm birth rate patterns among urban African-American and non-Hispanic White mothers.
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a neonatology fellow, and my research focus includes the epidemiologic study of social determinants of birth outcomes.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
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