Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 138–145

Maternal Education and Excessive Gestational Weight Gain in New York City, 1999–2001: The Effect of Race/Ethnicity and Neighborhood Socioeconomic Status


    • Department of Health Sciences, Lehman CollegeCity University of New York
  • Luisa N. Borrell
    • Department of Health Sciences, Lehman CollegeCity University of New York
  • Earle C. Chambers
    • Department of Family and Social Medicine, Albert Einstein College of MedicineYeshiva University

DOI: 10.1007/s10995-013-1246-5

Cite this article as:
Huynh, M., Borrell, L.N. & Chambers, E.C. Matern Child Health J (2014) 18: 138. doi:10.1007/s10995-013-1246-5


To examine the association between maternal education and excessive gestational weight gain (EGWG) and whether this association differs by maternal race/ethnicity and neighborhood socio-economic status (SES). A sample of 56,911 New York City births between 1999 and 2001 was used. Self-reported EGWG was defined as gaining >40 pounds. Maternal education and race/ethnicity were obtained from birth record data. Neighborhood SES was determined from 2000 US Census data. Women with a high school [prevalence ratio (PR) = 1.21; 95 % CI 1.10–1.32] and some college (PR = 1.33; 95 % CI 1.21–1.47) education were more likely to gain excessive weight during pregnancy than their counterparts with less than a high school education. Having a college or more education was associated with a decreased EGWG for non-Hispanic white women (PR = 0.81; 95 % CI 0.67–0.96) but an increased EGWG for Hispanic women (PR = 1.25; 95 % CI 1.12–1.44). EGWG increased for women with a college or more education in medium and low SES neighborhoods (1.26; 95 % CI 1.04–1.53 and 1.20; 95 % CI 1.10–1.30, respectively); whereas a college or more education was not significant in the high SES neighborhoods. Our findings suggest that maternal education is associated with EGWG. However, this association depends on race/ethnicity and SES of the neighborhood of residence.


PregnancyWeight gainEducationRace/ethnicityNeighborhood socioeconomic conditions

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013