Small size for gestational age and the risk for infant mortality in the subsequent pregnancy

Hamisu M. Salihu*, Abraham Salinas, Euna M. August, Mulubrhan F. Mogos, Hanna Weldeselasse, Valerie E. Whiteman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


Purpose: To examine the association between small for gestational age (SGA) in the first pregnancy and risk for infant mortality in the second pregnancy. Methods: This is a population-based, retrospective cohort study in which we used the Missouri maternally linked cohort dataset for 1978-2005. Analyses were restricted to women who had two singleton pregnancies during the study period. The exposure was SGA in the first pregnancy, whereas the primary outcome was infant mortality in the second pregnancy. Kaplan-Meier Estimate and Cox proportional hazard regression were conducted. Results: Infant mortality was significantly greater among mothers with previous SGA (P < 01). A persistent association of previous SGA with subsequent infant mortality was observed (adjusted hazard ratio [AHR] 1.35, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.24-1.48). Race-specific data illustrated that black women with a previous SGA birth were 40% more likely to experience infant mortality (AHR 1.40, 95% CI 1.21-1.63) than their counterparts without a history of SGA, but white women with a previous SGA had an increased risk of 31% (AHR 1.31, 95% CI 1.17-1.46). Conclusions: Women with previous SGA bear increased risks for subsequent infant mortality, which was greater among black mothers. Hence, SGA plays an important role in the black-white disparity in infant mortality. Women's previous childbearing experiences could serve as important criterion in determining appropriate interconception strategies to improve infant health and survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)764-771
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Epidemiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Birth outcomes
  • Infant mortality
  • Pregnancy
  • Small for gestational age

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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