The influence on birthweight of maternal living conditions a decade prior to giving birth
The study’s aim was to correlate measures of mothers’ socio-economic status, a decade prior to giving birth, with their children’s birthweight. As part of a larger study, information on birth characteristics from 706 babies born 1970-73 were linked with census data obtained from their mothers near the time of birth as well as one decade earlier. The 706 individuals were selected at random from two national surveys in 1998 and 2000 and traced back to the time of birth in the period 1970-73. Information on birth characteristics was linked to census data obtained from the mothers in 1960 and 1970. Included was information on parent’s living conditions (e.g. income, type of dwelling, indoor plumbing, telephone, number of people in the household). Information on mother’s health during pregnancy, a decade before childbirth and near childbirth, and data on mothers’ and the infants’ health at birth was obtained from the Medical Birth Registry of Norway. In analysis that included both early and current socio-economic conditions maternal education and rural residency at the time of giving birth were observed as statistical significant predictors of birthweight. Results were adjusted for maternal age, parity, plurality, gender and diagnoses before and during pregnancy, all factors observed to attenuate birthweight. Indicators of women’s socio-economic conditions a decade prior to giving birth were not significantly associated with birthweight. These findings do not clearly support suggestions in the literature that an infant’s vitality may be influenced by the family’s socio-economic conditions years before birth.
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