Document Type

Master's Culminating Experience

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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to identify measurable predictors of birth weight in the four zip codes of Montgomery County, Ohio with the poorest health outcomes. Previous literature has shown that birth weight is strongly correlated with risk of infant mortality.

Methods: Multiple linear regression was used to assess the relationship between multiple predictor variables and the outcome of interest, birth weight. Separate models were fit for each zip code (45402, 45405, 45406, and 45414). Maternal and infant characteristics were analyzed to assess which variables served as the best predictors of birth weight in order to better allocate hospital community health funding to decrease disparities in birth outcomes.

Results: Maternal education was a significant predictor of infant birth weight for all four zip codes. Mothers with higher education on average had children with greater birth weight. Maternal race was significant across three zip codes as a predictor of infant birth weight. White mothers on average had children with greater birth weight.

Conclusion: Maternal education, maternal race, and the mean number of cigarettes smoked during pregnancy were found to be strong predictors of infant birth weight. A higher Apgar score at five minutes was found to be associated with a heavier infant birth weight. However, limited sample sizes in some zip codes may have resulted in certain associations being non-significant and others being significant that were not consistent with previous research.

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