Health Inequalities at Birth within the Hungarian 2018-2019 Birth Cohort: Socioeconomic Differences of Low Birth Weight Infants

Laura Szabó , Hungarian Demographic Research Institute
Julianna Boros , Hungarian Demographic Research Institute

With the fourth highest rate of low birth weight children in EU28 in 2015, LBW is still a public health problem in Hungary, as it is associated with several short- and long-term consequences. Its risk factors are significantly interrelated. Our objective is to measure how the different components of Hungarian mothers’ SES are related to inequalities in LBW. The data source is the first two waves of the nationwide representative Cohort ’18 – Growing Up in Hungary longitudinal birth cohort study. Pregnant women in their 28-31st weeks of gestation who expected their children between March 2018 and April 2019 participated in the first wave. The second wave was conducted when the children were 6 months old. We used the data of 8192 women with single births, 5.9% of whom having LBW children (<2500g). We tested the relationship between risk of LBW and mothers’ educational attainment, equalised household income, mothers’ Roma ethnicity, mothers’ pregnancy related risk behaviours (smoking, alcohol consumption) and pregnancy related anxiety, controlling for parity, mothers’ age at birth and height, and the children’ sex by bivariate logistic regression analyses. Smoking during pregnancy increased almost threefold the risk of giving birth to LBW child. The higher maternal age (35+) increases this risk by 89 percent compared to those aged 15-24. A one-unit increase in educational attainment reduced the risk of LBW by 33 percent. Interaction effects indicate that educational attainment weakened the impact of smoking during pregnancy, while it increased the impact of pregnancy- related anxiety.

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 Presented in Session P1. Postercafe