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Ir Med J. 1994 Nov-Dec;87(6):176-7.

Small area analysis of low birth weight.

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  • 1Eastern Health Board, Dr. Steevens Hospital, Dublin.

Abstract

Birthweight is a broad indicator of health and socio-economic development in a population. This study was designed to examine small area patterns in the incidence of low birthweight in Dublin for the years 1986-89 and to explore the relationship between low birthweight and socio-economic factors. A number of district electoral divisions with a significantly raised incidence of low birthweight were identified. These were mainly in areas with a high proportion of local authority housing. There was significant positive correlation between the incidence of low birthweight and male unemployment, percentage of population in social classes 5 & 6 and proportion of population covered by medical cards, and a significant negative correlation with percentage of population in social classes 1 & 2 and number of cars per house. Forward stepwise multiple regression showed that the proportion of population covered by medical cards was the best predictor of low birthweight, but it only explained 22% of the total variance. These findings are consistent with previous work published in the international literature and provide evidence of an association between socioeconomic disadvantage and poor health in Dublin.

PMID:
7860260
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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