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Am J Public Health. 2001 Nov;91(11):1808-14.

The relationship of neighborhood socioeconomic characteristics to birthweight among 5 ethnic groups in California.

Author information

  • 1Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, USA. mpearl@dhs.ca.gov

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

This study sought to examine relationships between neighborhood socioeconomic characteristics and birthweight, accounting for individual socioeconomic characteristics, among 5 ethnic groups.

METHODS:

Birth records were linked to census block-group data for 22 304 women delivering infants at 18 California hospitals during 1994-1995. Information on income and additional factors was obtained from a surveyed subset of 8457 women. Neighborhood levels of poverty, unemployment, and education were examined.

RESULTS:

After adjustment for mothers' individual socioeconomic characteristics and other risk factors, less-favorable neighborhood socioeconomic characteristics were associated with lower birthweight among Blacks and Asians. No consistent relationship between neighborhood socioeconomic characteristics and birthweight was found among Whites, US-born Latinas, or foreign-born Latinas overall, but birthweight increased with less-favorable neighborhood socioeconomic characteristics among foreign-born Latinas in high-poverty or high-unemployment neighborhoods. These findings were not explained by measured behavioral or cultural factors.

CONCLUSIONS:

In addition to individual socioeconomic characteristics, living in neighborhoods that are less socioeconomically advantaged may differentially influence birthweight, depending on women's ethnicity and nativity.

Comment in

PMID:
11684609
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1446884
Free PMC Article
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