BPA Levels in Atlanta-Area African American Women: A Tale of Two Communities Open Access
Drame, Tassia (Spring 2020)
Introduction: Exposure to environmental chemicals is pervasive in the United States. African Americans (AA) are disproportionately exposed to many environmental chemicals such as BPA. Some AA populations see higher rates of food insecurity and have higher exposures to processed foods, which can lead to more exposure to BPA. Disproportionate BPA exposure may translate to an increased likelihood of a pregnant AA woman having a preterm birth. Health disparities begin before the child is born; every aspect of a pregnant woman’s environment contributes to the health of her unborn child. The purpose of this project is to determine the relation between BPA exposure and preterm birth among Atlanta AA women delivering at two economically distinct Atlanta hospitals, Emory University Hospital Midtown and Grady Health System. Methods: We performed a descriptive analysis to characterize urinary BPA levels, being assessed among the mothers, and summarize gestational age, being assessed among the infants, among AA women and their offspring, respectively. Additionally, we explored the relation between urinary BPA levels and early birth (a summary variable that includes preterm and early term (<37-38 weeks)) using logistic regression analysis. Results: The patients attending their prenatal visits at Emory had a mean age of 27 (± 4.73) years of age while those attending Grady were on average 24 (± 3.89) years of age which were significantly different (p=0.001). The mean parity, the number of viable pregnancies taken to birth or the number of live births, for both Emory and Grady are approximately 1 birth (p=0.5524). Emory had an even split of patients covered by Medicaid and private insurance while only one patient at Grady was covered by private insurance (p <0.0001). Accounting for the covariates, hospital sites are significantly associated with odds of delivering preterm or early term. At Grady, there is an increased odd of delivering preterm or early term, whereas delivering at Emory is protective against delivering preterm or early term. Conclusion: More research needs to be conducted on the health impacts of BPA, health disparities among races, and long-term morbidity of preterm and early term birth.
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