Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 29–41

Changing Trends in Low Birth Weight Rates Among Non-Hispanic Black Infants in the United States, 1991–2004

  • Cynthia Ferré
  • Arden Handler
  • Jason Hsia
  • Wanda Barfield
  • James W. CollinsJr
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10995-010-0570-2

Cite this article as:
Ferré, C., Handler, A., Hsia, J. et al. Matern Child Health J (2011) 15: 29. doi:10.1007/s10995-010-0570-2

Abstract

We examined trends in low birth weight (LBW, <2,500 g) rates among US singleton non-Hispanic black infants between 1991 and 2004. We conducted Joinpoint regression analyses, using birth certificate data, to describe trends in LBW, moderately LBW (MLBW, 1,500–2,499 g), and very LBW (VLBW, <1,500 g) rates. We then conducted cross-sectional and binomial regression analyses to relate these trends to changes in maternal or obstetric factors. Non-Hispanic black LBW rates declined −7.35% between 1991 and 2001 and then increased +4.23% through 2004. The LBW trends were not uniform across birth weight subcategories. Among MLBW births, the 1991–2001 decease was −10.20%; the 2001–2004 increase was +5.61%. VLBW did not follow this pattern, increasing +3.84% between 1991 and 1999 and then remaining relatively stable through 2004. In adjusted models, the 1991–2001 MLBW rate decrease was associated with changes in first-trimester prenatal care, cigarette smoking, education levels, maternal foreign-born status, and pregnancy weight gain. The 2001–2004 MLBW rate increase was independent of changes in observed maternal demographic characteristics, prenatal care, and obstetric variables. Between 1991 and 2001, progress occurred in reducing MLBW rates among non-Hispanic black infants. This progress was not maintained between 2001 and 2004 nor did it occur for VLBW infants between 1991 and 2004. Observed population changes in maternal socio-demographic and health-related factors were associated with the 1991–2001 decrease, suggesting multiple risk factors need to be simultaneously addressed to reduce non-Hispanic black LBW rates.

Keywords

Non-Hispanic blacks Low birth weight Preterm birth Trend analyses Prenatal care Socioeconomic status 

Copyright information

© US Government 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cynthia Ferré
    • 1
  • Arden Handler
    • 2
  • Jason Hsia
    • 1
    • 4
  • Wanda Barfield
    • 1
  • James W. CollinsJr
    • 3
  1. 1.National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Reproductive HealthCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)AtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Division of Community Health Sciences, Maternal and Child Health ProgramSchool of Public Health, University of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Department of PediatricsChildren’s Memorial Hospital, Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of MedicineChicagoUSA
  4. 4.Office of Smoking and Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health PromotionCenters for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA

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