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New Haven, CT, United States

Zhao Y.,The New School | Kershaw T.,The New School | Kershaw T.,The Interdisciplinary Center | Ettinger A.S.,The New School | And 4 more authors.
Maternal and Child Health Journal | Year: 2015

We examined the association between life events stressors during pregnancy and low birth weight (LBW) among African Americans and Whites, while systematically controlling for potential confounders including individual characteristics and city-level variations and clustering. We analyzed data from 4970 women with singleton births who participated in the 2007 and 2010 Los Angeles Mommy and Baby Surveys. Multilevel logistic regression was used to assess the association between emotional, financial, spousal and traumatic stressors and LBW among African Americans and Whites. Potential confounders included were: the city-level Economic Hardship Index, maternal demographics, pre-pregnancy conditions, insurance, behavioral risk factors and social support. African Americans were significantly more likely to experience any domain of stressors during their pregnancy, compared to Whites (p < 0.001). Only the association between financial stressors and LBW was significantly different between African Americans and Whites (p for interaction = 0.015). Experience of financial stressors during pregnancy was significantly associated with LBW among African Americans (adjusted odds ratio = 1.49; 95 % confidence interval = 1.01–2.22) but not Whites. Differential impact of financial stressors during pregnancy may contribute to racial disparities in LBW between African Americans and Whites. We showed that financial life event stressors, but not other domains of stressors, were more likely to impact LBW among African Americans than Whites. Initiatives aimed at mitigating the negative impacts of financial stress during pregnancy may contribute to reducing disparities in birth outcomes between African Americans and Whites. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Abid Z.,The New School | Roy A.,The New School | Herbstman J.B.,The New School | Ettinger A.S.,The New School | Ettinger A.S.,Yale Center for Perinatal
Journal of Environmental and Public Health | Year: 2014

Exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) adversely affects child neurodevelopment, but little is known about the relationship between PAHs and clinically significant developmental disorders. We examined the relationship between childhood measures of PAH exposure and prevalence of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), learning disability (LD), and special education (SE) in a nationally representative sample of 1,257 U.S. children 6-15 years of age. Data were obtained from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001-2004. PAH exposure was measured by urinary metabolite concentrations. Outcomes were defined by parental report of (1) ever doctor-diagnosed ADHD, (2) ever doctor- or school representative-identified LD, and (3) receipt of SE or early intervention services. Multivariate logistic regression accounting for survey sampling was used to determine the associations between PAH metabolites and ADHD, LD, and SE. Children exposed to higher levels of fluorine metabolites had a 2-fold increased odds (95% C.I. 1.1, 3.8) of SE, and this association was more apparent in males (OR 2.3; 95% C.I. 1.2, 4.1) than in females (OR 1.8; 95% C.I. 0.6, 5.4). No other consistent pattern of developmental disorders was associated with urinary PAH metabolites. However, concurrent exposure to PAH fluorine metabolites may increase use of special education services among U.S. children. © 2014 Zaynah Abid et al.

Reese Masterson A.,The New School | Usta J.,American University of Beirut | Gupta J.,The New School | Ettinger A.S.,The New School | Ettinger A.S.,Yale Center for Perinatal
BMC Women's Health | Year: 2014

Background: The current conflict in Syria continues to displace thousands to neighboring countries, including Lebanon. Information is needed to provide adequate health and related services particularly to women in this displaced population.Methods: We conducted a needs assessment in Lebanon (June-August 2012), administering a cross-sectional survey in six health clinics. Information was collected on reproductive and general health status, conflict violence, stress, and help-seeking behaviors of displaced Syrian women. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to examine associations between exposure to conflict violence, stress, and reproductive health outcomes.Results: We interviewed 452 Syrian refugee women ages 18-45 who had been in Lebanon for an average of 5.1 (± 3.7) months. Reported gynecologic conditions were common, including: menstrual irregularity, 53.5%; severe pelvic pain, 51.6%; and reproductive tract infections, 53.3%. Among the pregnancy subset (n = 74), 39.5% of currently pregnant women experienced complications and 36.8% of those who completed pregnancies experienced delivery/abortion complications. Adverse birth outcomes included: low birthweight, 10.5%; preterm delivery, 26.5%; and infant mortality, 2.9%. Of women who experienced conflict-related violence (30.8%) and non-partner sexual violence (3.1%), the majority did not seek medical care (64.6%). Conflict violence and stress score was significantly associated with reported gynecologic conditions, and stress score was found to mediate the relationship between exposure to conflict violence and self-rated health.Conclusions: This study contributes to the understanding of experience of conflict violence among women, stress, and reproductive health needs. Findings demonstrate the need for better targeting of reproductive health services in refugee settings, as well as referral to psychosocial services for survivors of violence. © 2014 Reese Masterson et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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