Objective: We sought to determine whether black race is a risk factor for very low birthweight in a developed country other than the United States. Design: A cross-sectional study was performed. Setting: We analyzed a dataset of 1987-1990 birth records from three hospitals in East London, England. Participants: All live born African (N=3,495), West Indian (N=3,471), and European white (N=20,313) singleton infants born to East London residents. Main outcome measures: For each ethnic group, we calculated the proportion of very low birthweight (< 1500g) and moderately low birthweight (1500-2499g) infants. Results: The very low birthweight rate was 2.9% for infants of West Indian descent and 2.2% for infants of African descent vs. 1.3% for European whites; odds ratio (95% confidence interval) = 2.1(1.7-2.8) and 1.8(1.2-3.1), respectively. West Indian and white mothers were similar in terms of age, social support, and prenatal care. African mothers were older and had less social support. The West Indian:white and African:white differentials in very low birthweight rates persisted among low risk mothers; odds ratio (95% confidence interval) = 2.7(1.7-4.0) and 2.3(1.5-3.6), respectively. Conclusions: We conclude that black race is a risk factor for very low birthweight in the United Kingdom.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Ethnicity and Disease|
|State||Published - Dec 1 1997|
- Low birthweight
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