Drs. Nicolaidis and Ko were Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars at the time of this work. Dr. Nicolaidis is currently the recipient of a Robert Wood Johnson Depression In Primary Care Leadership Award. Dr. Saha is the recipient of a Research Career Development award from the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Services Research & Development Service and is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Generalist Physician Faculty Scholar. Funding was provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation via the Clinical Scholars Program.
Birth weight, Low -- Economic aspects, Birth weight, Low -- Social aspects, Health and race
Background: The role of paternal factors in determining the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes has received less attention than maternal factors. Similarly, the interaction between the effects of race and socioeconomic status (SES) on pregnancy outcomes is not well known. Our objective was to assess the relative importance of paternal vs. maternal education in relation to risk of low birth weight (LBW) across different racial groups. Methods: We conducted a retrospective population-based cohort study using Washington state birth certificate data from 1992 to 1996 (n = 264,789). We assessed the associations between maternal or paternal education and LBW, adjusting for demographic variables, health services factors, and maternal behavioral and obstetrical factors. Results: Paternal educational level was independently associated with LBW after adjustment for race, maternal education, demographic characteristics, health services factors; and other maternal factors. We found an interaction between the race and maternal education on risk of LBW. In whites, maternal education was independently associated with LBW. However, in the remainder of the sample, maternal education had a minimal effect on LBW. Conclusions: The degree of association between maternal education and LBW delivery was different in whites than in members of other racial groups. Paternal education was associated with LBW in both whites and non-whites. Further studies are needed to understand why maternal education may impact pregnancy outcomes differently depending on race and why paternal education may play a more important role than maternal education in some racial categories.
Nicolaidis, C., Ko. C.W., Saha, S., Koepsell, T. "Racial discrepancies in the association between paternal vs. maternal educational level and risk oflow birth weight in Washington State." BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 2004; 4: 10.