• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of bmjBMJ helping doctors make better decisionsSearchLatest content
BMJ. Dec 4, 1993; 307(6917): 1458–1462.
PMCID: PMC1679497

Deprivation, low birth weight, and children's height: a comparison between rural and urban areas.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE--To compare proportions of low birthweight babies and mean heights of schoolchildren between rural and urban areas at different levels of social deprivation. DESIGN--Cross sectional population based study classifying cases by Townsend material deprivation index of enumeration district of residence and by rural areas, small towns, and large towns. SETTING--Northumberland Health District. SUBJECTS--18,930 singleton infants delivered alive during January 1985 to September 1990 and resident in Northumberland in October 1990; 9055 children aged 5 to 8 1/2 years attending Northumberland schools in the winter of 1989-90. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Odds ratios for birth weight less than 2800 g; difference in mean height measured by standard deviation (SD) score. RESULTS--Between the most deprived and most affluent 20% of enumeration districts the odds ratio for low birth weight adjusted for rural or urban setting was 1.71 (95% confidence interval 1.51 to 1.93) and the difference in mean height -0.232 SD score (-0.290 to -0.174). Between large towns and rural areas the odds ratio for low birth weight adjusted for deprivation was 1.37 (1.23 to 1.53) and the difference in mean height -0.162 SD score (-0.214 to -0.110). Results for small towns were intermediate between large towns and rural areas. CONCLUSIONS--Inequalities in birth weight and height exist in all rural and urban settings between deprived and affluent areas. In addition, there is substantial disadvantage to living in urban areas compared with rural areas which results from social or environmental factors unrelated to current levels of deprivation.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (1.3M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Images in this article

Click on the image to see a larger version.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Fearn R. Rural health care: a British success or a tale of unmet need? Soc Sci Med. 1987;24(3):263–274. [PubMed]
  • Watt IS, Franks AJ, Sheldon TA. Rural health and health care. BMJ. 1993 May 22;306(6889):1358–1359. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Phillimore P, Reading R. A rural advantage? Urban-rural health differences in northern England. J Public Health Med. 1992 Sep;14(3):290–299. [PubMed]
  • Cole TJ, Donnet ML, Stanfield JP. Unemployment, birthweight, and growth in the first year. Arch Dis Child. 1983 Sep;58(9):717–721. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Macintyre S. A review of the social patterning and significance of measures of height, weight, blood pressure and respiratory function. Soc Sci Med. 1988;27(4):327–337. [PubMed]
  • Gulliford MC, Chinn S, Rona RJ. Social environment and height: England and Scotland 1987 and 1988. Arch Dis Child. 1991 Feb;66(2):235–240. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • McCormick MC. The contribution of low birth weight to infant mortality and childhood morbidity. N Engl J Med. 1985 Jan 10;312(2):82–90. [PubMed]
  • Foster JM, Chinn S, Rona RJ. The relation of the height of primary school children to population density. Int J Epidemiol. 1983 Jun;12(2):199–204. [PubMed]
  • Reading R, Jarvis S, Openshaw S. Measurement of social inequalities in health and use of health services among children in Northumberland. Arch Dis Child. 1993 May;68(5):626–631. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Reading R, Openshaw S. Do inaccuracies in small area deprivation analyses matter? J Epidemiol Community Health. 1993 Jun;47(3):238–241. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Oakley A. Social support in pregnancy: the 'soft' way to increase birthweight? Soc Sci Med. 1985;21(11):1259–1268. [PubMed]
  • ILLSLEY R. Social class selection and class differences in relation to stillbirths and infant deaths. Br Med J. 1955 Dec 24;2(4955):1520–1524. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Baird D. The epidemiology of low birth weight; changes in incidence in Aberdeen, 1948-72. J Biosoc Sci. 1974 Jul;6(3):323–341. [PubMed]
  • Hart N. Famine, maternal nutrition and infant mortality: a re-examination of the Dutch hunger winter. Popul Stud (Camb) 1993 Mar;47(1):27–46. [PubMed]

Articles from BMJ : British Medical Journal are provided here courtesy of BMJ Group

Formats:

Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...

Links

  • MedGen
    MedGen
    Related information in MedGen
  • PubMed
    PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...