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Ann Epidemiol. 2010 Jun;20(6):445-51. doi: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2010.02.010.

Neighborhood deprivation and adverse birth outcomes among diverse ethnic groups.

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Department of Preventive Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA.



Living in a socioeconomically deprived neighborhood has been associated with an increased risk of adverse birth outcomes. However, variation in the effect of neighborhood deprivation among diverse ethnic groups has not been studied.


Using linked hospital discharge and birth data for 517,994 singleton live births in New York City from 1998 through 2002, we examined the association between neighborhood deprivation, preterm birth (PTB), and term low birthweight (TLBW) (>or=37 weeks and <2500g). Adjusted odds ratios (aORs) for PTB (<32 and 33-36 weeks) and TLBW were estimated using logistic regression.


The aOR for PTB of less than 32 weeks for the highest quartile of deprivation compared to the lowest was 1.24 (95% confidence limit [CL] = 1.13, 1.36), for PTB 33-36 weeks was 1.06 (95% CL = 1.01, 1.11), and for TLBW was 1.19 (95% CL = 1.11, 1.27). Measures of association varied by ethnicity; aORs of the greatest magnitude for PTB were found among Hispanic Caribbean women (PTB < 32 weeks: aOR = 1.63, 95% CL = 1.27, 2.10; PTB 33-36 weeks: aOR = 1.32, 95% CL = 1.02, 1.70), and for TLBW among African women (aOR = 1.47, 95% CL = 1.02, 2.13).


The mechanisms linking neighborhood deprivation to adverse birth outcomes may differ depending on individual ethnicity and/or cultural context and should be investigated in future research.

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