Low Birth Weight and Neonatal and Infant Mortality in the United States: Trends and Current Issues

  • Kwang-Sun Lee
  • Diana Woo
  • Jung-Hwan Choi

Abstract

Throughout history, socioeconomic development has been a fundamental prerequisite for the evolution of improvement in the health status of a population. The inverse relationship between infant mortality and the level of economic development is remarkable even to this day (Fig. 9.1).1,2 In the United States, infant mortality did not begin to show a significant reduction until the beginning of this century; the rate remained at 150 to 160/1000 live births between 1840 and 1900.3 Not until after 1910 did a precipitous drop in infant mortality occur, with a rate of 89/1000 live births reached in 1919.3 This remarkable decrease in infant mortality during the first half of this century was realized even before the widespread use of antibiotics and mass immunization; it coincided with a simultaneous and progressive improvement in economic and general living conditions (Fig. 9.2).4,5

Keywords

Income Syria Hunt Stein Malaysia 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Central Intelligence Agency. Handbook of Economic Statistics, 1982. Springfield, Va: National Technical Information Service; 1986.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Department of International Economics and Social Affairs. Demographic Year Books, 1950–1986. New York, NY: United Nations; 1953–1989.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    U.S. Bureau of the Census. Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970. Bicentennial Edition. Part 1. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office; 1975.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    National Center for Health Statistics. Vital Statistics of the United States. Mortality. Annual volumes, 1910–1985. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office; 1989:3. US Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    National Center for Health Statistics. Advance Report of Final Mortality Statistics, 1986. Monthly Vital Statistics Report. Hyattsville, MD: Public Health Service; 1988;37(6, suppl). US Dept of Health and Human Services publication No. (PHS) 88–1120.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Sheridan JE The typical perinatal center: an overview of perinatal health services in the United States. Clin Perinatol. 1983;10:31–49.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lee KS, Paneth N, Gartner LM, Pearlman M, Gruss L. Neonatal mortality: an analysis of the recent improvement in the United States. Am J Public Health. 1980;70: 15–21.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Kleinman JC, Kovar MG, Feldman JJ, Young CA. A comparison of 1960 and 1973–74 early neonatal mortality in selected states. Am J Epidemiol. 1978;108:454–469.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Williams RL, Chen PM. Identifying the sources of the recent decline in perinatal mortality rates in California. N Engl J Med. 1982;306:207–214.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Department of Health and Social Security. On the State of the Public Health. The Annual Report of the Chief Medical Officer of the Department for the Year 1980. London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office; 1982.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Lee KS, Paneth N, Gartner LM, Pearlman M. The very low-birth-weight rate: Principal predictor of neonatal mortality in industrialized populations. J Pediatr. 1980; 97:759–764.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Lee KS, Gartner LM, Paneth N, Tyler L. Recent trends in neonatal mortality: the Canadian experience. Can Med Assoc J. 1982;126:373–376.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    National Center for Health Statistics. Vital Statistics of the United States. Natality. Annual volumes, 1970–1986. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office; 1989:2. US Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Eisner V, Brazie JV, Pratt MW, et al. The risk of low birth weight. Am J Public Health. 1979;69:887–893.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Taffel S. Factors Associated With Low Birth Weight. US DHEW, National Center for Health Statistics. Hyattsville, MD: Public Health Service; 1980. US Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare publication No. (PHS) 80–1915.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Süsser M. Prenatal nutrition, birthweight, and psychological development: an overview of experiments, quasi-experiments, and natural experiments in the past decade. Am J Clin Nutr. 1981;34:784–803.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Päneth N, Kiely JL, Wallenstein S, et al. Newborn intensive care and neonatal mortality in low-birth-weight infants. N Engl J Med. 1982;307:149–155.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Kam MN, Penrose LS. Birth weight and gestation time in relation to matemal age, parity, and infant survival. Ann Eugen. 1951;16:147–164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Horon IL, Strobino DM, MacDonald HM. Birth weights among infants bom to adolescent and young adult women. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1983;146:444–449.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Elster AB. The effect of maternal age, parity, and prenatal care on perinatal outcome in adolescent mothers. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1984;149:845–847.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Lee KS, Corpuz M: Teenage pregnancy: trend and impact on rates of low birth weight and fetal, maternal, and neonatal mortality in the United States. Clin Perinatol 1988;15:929–942.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Jones EF, Forrest JD, Goldman N, et al. Teenage Pregnancy in Industrialized Countries. Alan Guttmacher Institute. New Haven, Ct: Yale University Press; 1986:21–36, 228–240.Google Scholar
  23. Hollingsworth DR, Kotchen JM. Gynecologic age and its relation to neonatal outcome. In: McAnamey ER, Stickle G, eds. Pregnancy and Childbearing During Adolescence: Research Priorities for the 1980s. March of Dimes Birth Defects Original Article Series. New York, NY: Alan R. Liss; 1981;17:91–105.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Lee KS, Ferguson RM, Corpuz M, et al. Maternal age and incidence of low birth weight at term: a population study. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1988;158:84–89.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Lee KS, Choi JW, Corpuz M. Impact of maternal age distribution on birthweight distribution and postnatal mortality. Manuscript in preparation.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Garn SM, Shaw HA, McCabe KD: Effects of socioeconomic status and race on weight-defined and gestational prematurity in the United States. In: Reed DM, Stanley FJ, eds. Epidemiology of Prematurity. Baltimore, Md: Urban & Schwarzenberg; 1977:127–143.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Ounsted M, Scott A. Social class and birthweight: a new look. Early Hum Dev. 1982;6:83–89.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Gould JB, LeRoy S: Socioeconomic status and low birth weight: a racial comparison. Pediatrics. 1988;82:896–904.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Brooks CH. Social, economic, and biologic correlates of infant mortality in city neighborhoods. J Health Soc Behav. 1980;21:2–11.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Wise PH, Kotelchuck M, Wilson ML, et al. Racial and socioeconomic disparities in childhood mortality in Boston. N Engl J Med. 1985;313:360–366.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Spurlock CW, Hinds MW, Skaggs JW, et al. Infant death rates among the poor and nonpoor in Kentucky, 1982 to 1983. Pediatrics. 1987;80:262–269.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Alexander GR, Comely DA. Racial disparities in pregnancy outcomes: the role of prenatal care utilization and maternal risk status. Am J Prev Med. 1987;3:254–261.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Committee to Study the Prevention of Low Birthweight. The effectiveness of prenatal care. In: Preventing Low Birthweight. Division of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Institute of Medicine. Washington, DC: National Academy Press; 1985: 94–112.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Stein Z, Süsser M, Rush D. Prenatal nutrition and birth weight: experiments and quasi-experiments in the past decade. J Reprod Med. 1978;21:287–299.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Rush D, Higgins AC, Sadow MD, et al. Dietary services during pregnancy, and birthweight: A retrospective matched pair analysis. Pediatr Res. 1976; 10:349 Abstract.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Mora JO, de Paredes B, Wagner M, et al. Nutritional supplementation and the outcome of pregnancy. I. Birthweight. Am J Clin Nutr. 1979;32:455–462.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Stein Z, Süsser M. The Dutch famine, 1944–45, and the reproductive process. I. Effects on six indices at birth. II. Interrelations of caloric rations and six indices at birth. Pediatr Res. 1975;9:70–83.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    McDonald RL, Parham KJ. Relation of emotional changes during pregnancy to obstetric complications in unmarried primigrávidas. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1964;90: 195–201.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Newton RW, Webster PAC, Binu PS, et al. Psychosocial stress in pregnancy and its relation to the onset of premature labor. Br Med J. 1979;2:411–413.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Newton RW, Hunt LP. Psychosocial stress in pregnancy and its relation to low birth weight. Br Med J. 1984;288:1191–1194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Niswander KR, Gordon M. The Women and Their Pregnancies: The Collaborative Perinatal Study of the National Institutes of Neurological Diseases and Stroke. Philadelphia, Pa: WB Saunders; 1972.Google Scholar
  42. Secretary’s Task Force on Black and Minority Health. Black and Minority Health. Infant Mortality and Low Birthweight. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office; 1986;6. US Dept of Health and Human Services.Google Scholar
  43. Alexander GR, Tompkins ME, Altekruse JM, et al. Racial differences in the relation of birth weight and gestational age to neonatal mortality. Public Health Rep. 1985; 100:539–547.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kwang-Sun Lee
  • Diana Woo
  • Jung-Hwan Choi

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations