Online Program

Return to main conference page

All Times EDT

Thursday, October 7
Thu, Oct 7, 2:45 PM - 4:00 PM
Speed Session

County-Level Low Birth Weight Rates and Associated Contextual Factors in the United States, 2011-2016 (309763)

*Pallavi Dwivedi, University of Maryland College Park 
Quynh Nguyen, University of Maryland College Park 

Keywords: low birth weight rates, GEE, contextual factors

Infants with low birth weight (less than 2500 grams) have greater risk of mortality, long-term neurologic disability and chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease as compared to infants with normal birth weight. The aim of this study was to examine the trajectories or patterns of low birth weight rate in the U.S. at the county level over the duration of 2011-2016 and the association of multiple county-level contextual factors with low birth weight rates. This cross-sectional study utilized data on 22,981,336 singleton births across 3003 counties. The data on birth weight and maternal characteristics such as live birth order, race or ethnicity, age, marital status and prenatal care was obtained from the National Center for Health Statistics. Generalized Estimating Equation model was used to examine the association of county-level contextual variables with low birth weight rates. While higher county-level percentage of Black women was associated with higher low birth weight rates, an increase in the county-level percentage of American Indian or Alaskan native women was associated with lower low birth weight rates. An increase in the number of prenatal visits was associated with lower low birth weight rates. Higher county-level percentage of married women was associated with lower low birth weight rates in small metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties. Higher county-level percentage of uninsured population and single-parent households was associated with higher rates of low birth weight in large metropolitan counties. Identification of geographic and community level factors associated with low birth weight rate can inform targeted prevention efforts.