The association between neighbourhoods and adverse birth outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of multi-level studies.
ABSTRACT Many studies have examined the role of neighbourhood environment on birth outcomes but, because of differences in study design and modelling techniques, have found conflicting results. Seven databases were searched (1900-2010) for multi-level observational studies related to neighbourhood and pregnancy/birth. We identified 1502 articles of which 28 met all inclusion criteria. Meta-analysis was used to examine the association between neighbourhood income and low birthweight. Most studies showed a significant association between neighbourhood factors and birth outcomes. A significant pooled association was found for the relationship between neighbourhood income and low birthweight [odds ratio = 1.11, 95% confidence interval: 1.02, 1.20] whereby women who lived in low income neighbourhoods had significantly higher odds of having a low birthweight infant. This body of literature was found to consistently document significant associations between neighbourhood factors and birth outcomes. The consistency of findings from observational studies in this area indicates a need for causal studies to determine the mechanisms by which neighbourhoods influence birth outcomes.
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ABSTRACT: Exposure to particulate air pollution and socioeconomic risk factors are shown to be independently associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes; however, their confounding relationship is an epidemiological challenge that requires understanding of their shared etiologic pathways affecting fetal-placental development. The purpose of this paper is to explore the etiological mechanisms associated with exposure to particulate air pollution in contributing to adverse pregnancy outcomes and how these mechanisms intersect with those related to socioeconomic status. Here we review the role of oxidative stress, inflammation and endocrine modification in the pathoetiology of deficient deep placentation and detail how the physical and social environments can act alone and collectively to mediate the established pathology linked to a spectrum of adverse pregnancy outcomes. We review the experimental and epidemiological literature showing that diet/nutrition, smoking, and psychosocial stress share similar pathways with that of particulate air pollution exposure to potentially exasperate the negative effects of either insult alone. Therefore, socially patterned risk factors often treated as nuisance parameters should be explored as potential effect modifiers that may operate at multiple levels of social geography. The degree to which deleterious exposures can be ameliorated or exacerbated via community-level social and environmental characteristics needs further exploration.Journal of Environmental and Public Health 11/2014; 2014.
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ABSTRACT: IntroductionNeighbourhood level deprivation has been shown to influence adverse perinatal outcomes independent of individual level socioeconomic status (SES) in countries with high income inequality, such as the United States. The present study evaluates whether municipality level deprivation defined based on education (proportion of inhabitants with university level education), income (mean income per capita) and unemployment were associated with the prevalence of preterm birth (<37 weeks) and small for gestational age (SGA, birth weight <2 standard deviations) after adjustment for individual level socio-demographics (age, parity, prior preterm births, smoking during pregnancy and SES defined based on maternal occupation at birth) in Finland.Methods The study design was cross-sectional. The data gathered from the Medical Birth Register included all singleton births (n¿=¿345,952) in 2005¿2010. We fitted Generalized Estimating Equations (GEE) models to account for correlation of preterm birth and SGA clustering within municipality.ResultsOf all the women with singleton pregnancies, 4.5% (n¿=¿15,615) gave birth preterm and 3.8% (n¿=¿13,111) of their newborns were classified as SGA. Individual level SES and smoking were important risk factors for each outcome in adjusted models. Controlling for individual level factors, women living in intermediate and high unemployment class municipalities were 6.0% (adjusted odds ratio (aOR)¿=¿1.06; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.01-1.12) and 13.0% (aOR¿=¿1.13; 95% CI 1.06-1.20), respectively, more likely to give birth to an SGA newborn than women living in low unemployment class municipalities.Conclusions After adjustment for individual level socio-demographics, the prevalence of SGA was around 6-13% higher in municipalities with an intermediate or high unemployment rate than municipalities with the lowest unemployment rate. The results suggested that the unemployment rate has an important public health effect with clinical implications since SGA is associated with a higher risk of adverse long-term health outcomes.International Journal for Equity in Health 10/2014; 13(1):95. · 1.71 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: A large body of research has shown that health is influenced by disadvantaged living conditions, including both personal and neighborhood conditions. Little is however known to what degree the health impact of different forms of disadvantage differ along the life course. The present study aims to examine when, during the life course, neighborhood and individual disadvantages relate to functional somatic symptoms. Participants (n = 992) came from The Northern Swedish Cohort and followed from age 16, 21, 30 until 42 years. Functional somatic symptoms, socioeconomic disadvantage, and social and material adversity were measured through questionnaires and linked to register data on neighborhood disadvantage. Data was analyzed with longitudinal and cross-sectional multilevel models. Results showed that neighborhood disadvantage, social and material adversity and gender all contributed independently to overall levels of symptoms across the life course. Cross-sectional analyses also suggested that the impact of disadvantage differed between life course periods; neighborhood disadvantage was most important in young adulthood, and the relative importance of material versus social adversity increased as participants grew older. In summary, the study suggests that disadvantages from different contextual sources may affect functional somatic health across the life course, but also through life course specific patterns.PLoS ONE 06/2014; 9(6):e99558. · 3.53 Impact Factor