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Gentrification and Preterm Birth in New York City, 2008–2010


Adverse birth outcomes have been linked to neighborhood level socioeconomic status. However, little work has examined the influence of social and economic change over time (i.e., gentrification) on health. This study aims to assess the association between gentrification and preterm birth (PTB) while examining the modifying effect of maternal race/ethnicity and educational attainment. New York City births, 2008–2010, (n = 126,165) were linked to a measure of gentrification at the community district level (n = 59). The gentrification measure was calculated using percent change in education level, poverty level, and median household income (MHI) between the 2005–2009 American Community Survey and the 1990 Census. PTB was defined as clinical gestational age less than 37 weeks. Generalized estimating equations were utilized to examine the association. Gentrification (i.e., increase in residents with a college education, increase in MHI, and decrease in residents living below the poverty line) was not associated with PTB. However, among Non-Hispanic Blacks, very high gentrification was adversely associated with PTB (AOR, 1.16; 95 % CI, 1.01–1.33) as compared to those who lived in a very low gentrified neighborhood. Among non-Hispanic Whites, living in a very high gentrified neighborhood was protective as compared to living in a very low gentrified neighborhood (AOR, 0.78; 95 % CI, 0.64–0.94). Although there is a need to develop a more nuanced measure of gentrification, these results indicate that changes in the economic character of a neighborhood may have a significant influence on birth outcomes.

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Correspondence to M. Huynh.

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Huynh, M., Maroko, A.R. Gentrification and Preterm Birth in New York City, 2008–2010. J Urban Health 91, 211–220 (2014).

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  • Gentrification
  • Preterm birth
  • Socio-economic status
  • Urban renewal