The relationship of maternal low birthweight and infant low birthweight among African-American women at term delivery: Findings from the 1988 National Maternal and Infant Health Survey

Shirley F. Richardson Hutchinson, The University of Texas School of Public Health

Abstract

A cohort study study design was used to study the relationship of maternal low birthweight and infant low birthweight among African American women delivering full term infants. The cohort consisted of 3,157 mother-infant pairs drawn from the 1988 National Maternal and Infant Health Survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics. The objectives of the study were (1) to determine if low birthweight, African American mothers delivering term infants experienced higher rates of infant low birthweight and (2) to examine the role of selected contributory variables in the relationship of maternal low birthweight and infant low birthweight. Contributory risk factors examined included maternal marital status, maternal age, maternal education, maternal height, maternal prepregnant weight, birth order, history of a prior low birthweight delivery, timing of prenatal care, number of prenatal visits, gestational length, infant gender, and behavioral factors of smoking, alcohol, and illicit drug use during pregnancy. Using logistic regression analysis, risk of infant low birthweight among maternal low birthweight mothers increased after controlling for less than a high school education, less than 20 years of age, prepregnant weight less than 100 lbs, history of a prior low birthweight delivery, birth order, smoking during pregnancy, and use of alcohol and illicit drugs during pregnancy, but was not statistically significant. Loss of statistical significance was attributed to a large reduction in cases available for analysis after including illicit drug use in the model. This study demonstrated a consistent pattern of increased rates of infant low birthweight among low birthweight mothers. The force of history remains, hence women with this trait should be carefully monitored and advised during pregnancy to decrease risk of a low birthweight infant, in order to decrease the chain of events leading to future generations of low birthweight mothers.

Subject Area

Public health|Obstetrics|Gynecology|Nursing|African Americans

Recommended Citation

Hutchinson, Shirley F. Richardson, "The relationship of maternal low birthweight and infant low birthweight among African-American women at term delivery: Findings from the 1988 National Maternal and Infant Health Survey" (1997). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9809547.
https://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/dissertations/AAI9809547

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