Beyond the Cross-Sectional: Neighborhood Poverty Histories and Preterm Birth

Beyond the Cross-Sectional: Neighborhood Poverty Histories and Preterm Birth

Claire Margerison-Zilko; Catherine Cubbin; Jun, Jina; Kristen Marchi; Paula Braveman

American Public Health Association
American Journal of Public health, vol. 105, no. 6, pp. 1174 - 1180
Journal Title
American Journal of Public health
Objectives. We examined associations between longitudinal neighborhood poverty trajectories and preterm birth (PTB).
Methods. Using data from the Neighborhood Change Database (1970–2000) and the American Community Survey (2005–2009), we categorized longitudinal trajectories of poverty for California neighborhoods (i.e., census tracts). Birth data included 23 291 singleton California births from the Maternal and Infant Health Assessment (2003–2009). We estimated associations (adjusted for individual-level covariates) between PTB and longitudinal poverty trajectories and compared these to associations using traditional, cross-sectional measures of poverty.
Results. Compared to neighborhoods with long-term low poverty, those with long-term high poverty and those that experienced increasing poverty early in the study period had 41% and 37% increased odds of PTB (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.18, 1.69 and 1.09, 1.72, respectively). High (compared with low) cross-sectional neighborhood poverty was not associated with PTB (odds ratio = 1.08; 95% CI = 0.91, 1.28).
Conclusions. Neighborhood poverty histories may contribute to an understanding of perinatal health and should be considered in future research.
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