Perceived Social Status and Preterm Birth among African American Women Open Access

Malveaux, Krystyn (Spring 2020)

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Background: Recently, preterm birth has been increasing and research has established that African American women have been disproportionately affected by this birth outcome. Perceived social status has been proven to have a relationship with other various health outcomes such as cardiovascular disease. 

Methods: The sample population was composed of women who participated in the Emory University Microbiome and Preterm Birth Study (n=425). Perceived social status was defined by the response provided on a 10-rung MacArthur status ladder. Gestational age was determined from electronic health records that listed weeks of gestation completed; the variable was categorized into three groups (Preterm, Early Term, and Term). The statistical analysis was ordinal logistic regression adjusting for sociodemographic variables.

Results: The mean social status ladder for the preterm birth group was 5.87, early term group was 5.93, and term group was 5.82. 17.9% of births were preterm, 26.3% were early term, and 55.8% were term. The adjusted odds ratio for the relationship between perceived social status and gestational age was 1.02 (95% CI: 0.92, 1.13). 

Conclusions: There was not a relationship between perceived social status and gestational age among this sample. Future studies should include more diverse samples in order to determine if there is no relationship or a lessened relationship between the two variables.

Table of Contents

Background 1


Results 18

Discussion 22

References 25

Tables 28

Figures 32

Appendix 34

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