Objectives: To ascertain the extent to which residence in violent communities is an independent risk factor for adverse pregnancy outcomes among impoverished (census tract median family income < $10,000/year) African-American mothers. Design: A cross-sectional study was performed. Methods: We performed multivariate analyses on 1983 Illinois vital records, Chicago Police Department violent crime rates, and 1980 United States Census income data. Results: African-American mothers who resided in the most violent communities had a low birth weight rate of 16% compared to 12% for infants (N=315) with mothers who lived in the least violent communities; odds ratio=1.5 (1.0-2.1). The proportion of small-for-gestational-age infants was substantially elevated in mothers who resided in the most violent communities compared to mothers who lived in the least violent communities: 7% vs. 3%; odds ratio=2.6 (1.5-2.1). In multivariate logistic regression models that controlled for individual risk factors, the adjusted odds ratios for low birth weight and small-for-gestational-age infants among mothers who resided in the most (compared to the least) violent communities were 1.1 (0.9-1.2) and 1.5 (1.1-2.1), respectively. Conclusion: We conclude that a community's violent crime rate is associated with intrauterine growth retardation among infants born to African-American women.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Ethnicity and Disease|
|State||Published - Sep 1 1997|
- Low Birth Weight
- Small for Gestational Age
ASJC Scopus subject areas