The relation of age to low birth weight rates among foreign-born black mothers: A population-based exploratory study

Stephanie B. Deal*, Amanda C. Bennett, Kristin M. Rankin, James W. Collins

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: In stark contrast to the J or Ushaped relationship between age and low birth weight rates (< 2500g) seen among non- Latino White and Mexican American mothers, low birth weight rates among US-born Blacks are lowest in their teens and rise with increasing age (ie, weathering). The agerelated pattern of low birth weight rates among foreign-born Black mothers is unknown.

Objective: To determine the relationship between age and low birth weight rates among foreign-born Black mothers.

Design: Stratified analyses were performed on the 2003-2004 National Center for Health Statistics vital record datasets of foreign-born Black mothers. Maternal age was categorized into six subgroups. Potential confounding variables examined included marital status, parity, and prenatal care usage.

Results: Foreign-born Black mothers (N=143,235) demonstrated a J/U-shaped agerelated pattern of low birth weight rates with the lowest rates observed among those in their twenties and early thirties. The subgroups of 15-19 and 35-39 year old mothers had low birth weight rates of 12.0% and 11.4% compared to 9.1% for 25-29 year oldmothers; RR=1.31 (1.22-1.42) and 1.25 (1.20-1.31), respectively. The J/Ushaped age-related pattern persisted independent of marital status, parity and prenatal care usage.

Conclusions: Foreign-born black mothers do not exhibit a weathering pattern of rising low birth weight rates with advancing age regardless of traditional individual-level risk factors. Further research into the age-related pattern of birth outcome among impoverished foreignborn Black mothers is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-417
Number of pages5
JournalEthnicity and Disease
Volume24
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014

Keywords

  • African American
  • Foreign Born
  • Low Birth Weight Infant
  • Maternal Age
  • Weathering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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