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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(1), 849-865; doi:10.3390/ijerph110100849
Article

Anthropometric and Health-Related Behavioral Factors in the Explanation of Social Inequalities in Low Birth Weight in Children with Prenatal Alcohol Exposure

1,2
1 Bielefeld Graduate School in History and Sociology, Faculty of Sociology, University of Bielefeld, P.O. Box 10-01-31, Bielefeld 33501, Germany 2 Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital Munster, Albert-Schweitzer-Campus 1, Munster 48129, Germany 
Received: 12 November 2013 / Revised: 18 December 2013 / Accepted: 25 December 2013 / Published: 8 January 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol Abuse: Newer Approaches to an Old Problem)
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Abstract

There is evidence for social inequalities in the health status of children with prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE). This study aimed to describe social inequalities in low birth weight (LBW) in children/adolescents with PAE and to examine the contribution of anthropometric and health-related behavioral factors to the explanation of social inequalities. A total of 2,159 participants with parental self-reported moderate to regular PAE (enrolled in the cross-sectional German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents) were examined. At similar levels of PAE, the risk of LBW was significantly increased in subjects with a low socioeconomic status (SES) (adjusted odds ratio (OR) 2.78, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.59, 4.86) and middle SES (adjusted OR 2.04, 95% CI 1.28, 3.24). Maternal height, maternal body mass index (BMI) and smoking during pregnancy mediated the association. The mediating effect of maternal height was 12.5% to 33.7%. Maternal BMI explained 7.9% of the socioeconomic difference in LBW between the high and low SES groups in children with PAE. The mediating effect of smoking during pregnancy was 17.3% to 31.5%. Maternal height, maternal BMI and smoking during pregnancy together explained 24.4% to 60.1% of the socioeconomic differences in LBW in children with PAE. A large proportion of the socioeconomic differences in LBW in children with PAE can be attributed to anthropometric and health-related behavioral factors.
Keywords: low birth weight; social inequalities; alcohol; pregnancy; smoking; maternal height low birth weight; social inequalities; alcohol; pregnancy; smoking; maternal height
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Pfinder, M. Anthropometric and Health-Related Behavioral Factors in the Explanation of Social Inequalities in Low Birth Weight in Children with Prenatal Alcohol Exposure. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 849-865.

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