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Mother's education and the risk of preterm and small for gestational age birth: a DRIVERS meta-analysis of 12 European cohorts

Ruiz, M; Goldblatt, P; Morrison, J; Kukla, L; Švancara, J; Riitta-Järvelin, M; Taanila, A; ... Pikhart, H; + view all (2015) Mother's education and the risk of preterm and small for gestational age birth: a DRIVERS meta-analysis of 12 European cohorts. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health , 69 (9) pp. 826-833. 10.1136/jech-2014-205387. Green open access

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Abstract

Background A healthy start to life is a major priority in efforts to reduce health inequalities across Europe, with important implications for the health of future generations. There is limited combined evidence on inequalities in health among newborns across a range of European countries. Methods Prospective cohort data of 75 296 newborns from 12 European countries were used. Maternal education, preterm and small for gestational age births were determined at baseline along with covariate data. Regression models were estimated within each cohort and meta-analyses were conducted to compare and measure heterogeneity between cohorts. Results Mother's education was linked to an appreciable risk of preterm and small for gestational age (SGA) births across 12 European countries. The excess risk of preterm births associated with low maternal education was 1.48 (1.29 to 1.69) and 1.84 (0.99 to 2.69) in relative and absolute terms (Relative/Slope Index of Inequality, RII/SII) for all cohorts combined. Similar effects were found for SGA births, but absolute inequalities were greater, with an SII score of 3.64 (1.74 to 5.54). Inequalities at birth were strong in the Netherlands, the UK, Sweden and Spain and marginal in other countries studied. Conclusions This study highlights the value of comparative cohort analysis to better understand the relationship between maternal education and markers of fetal growth in different settings across Europe.

Type: Article
Title: Mother's education and the risk of preterm and small for gestational age birth: a DRIVERS meta-analysis of 12 European cohorts
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/jech-2014-205387
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jech-2014-205387
Language: English
Additional information: This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Keywords: CHILD HEALTH, EPIDEMIOLOGY, INEQUALITIES
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1468396
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