Invited commentary: the socioeconomic causes of adverse birth outcomes.


Journal Article

Weathering-the cumulative burden of adverse psychosocial and economic circumstances on the bodies of minority women-has been repeatedly described in epidemiologic studies. The most common application has been the documentation of rapidly increasing risks of adverse birth outcomes as African-American women age. Previous work has been based largely on cross-sectional data that aggregate women across a variety of socioeconomic circumstances. When more specific information about women's life-course socioeconomic status is taken into account, however, heterogeneity in the weathering experience of African-American women becomes more readily apparent. Adverse birth outcome risk trajectories with advancing age for African-American women who reside in wealthier neighborhoods look much more similar to those of white women. The accompanying article by Love et al. (Am J Epidemiol. 2010;172(2):127-134) provides a more nuanced investigation of the social conditions that contribute to the weathering of African-American women and points to the critical role played by social and economic conditions over the life course in producing adverse birth outcome disparities.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Messer, LC; Kaufman, JS

Published Date

  • July 2010

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 172 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 135 - 137

PubMed ID

  • 20576755

Pubmed Central ID

  • 20576755

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1476-6256

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0002-9262

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/aje/kwq107


  • eng