Ecological evidence suggests that neighborhoods with more tax foreclosures also have more adverse birth outcomes. However, whether neighborhood-level tax foreclosures impact individual-level risk for adverse birth outcomes is unknown. We assessed whether living in a neighborhood with high tax foreclosures is associated with a woman’s preterm birth (PTB) risk and tested for effect modification by educational attainment, among urban African American women from the Life Influence on Fetal Environments Study (2009–2011; n
= 686). We linked survey and medical record data to archival, block-group level tax foreclosure data from the county treasurer. We used Modified Poisson regression with robust error variance and included a foreclosure X education interaction in adjusted models. In the overall sample, neighborhood tax foreclosures did not predict PTB (adjusted relative risk: 0.93, CI: 0.74, 1.16), but the association was modified by educational attainment (interaction p
= 0.01). Among women with lower education (n
= 227), neighborhood tax foreclosures did not predict PTB risk. The association for women with higher education (n
= 401) was statistically significant for a reduction in risk for PTB (adjusted relative risk: 0.74, CI: 0.55, 0.98) among those who lived in neighborhoods with high versus low tax foreclosures. Future studies should seek to identify the mechanisms of this association.
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