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Accounting for the social disparity in birth weight: results from an intergenerational cohort
  1. N Spencer
  1. School of Health and Social Studies and Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK;

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    Social disparity in birth weight is well recognised1 but less well explained. Maternal height, smoking, substance misuse, and micronutrient deficiency are the most likely determinants of social disparities in birth weight.1 Intergenerational effects through maternal birth weight and growth in early childhood have also been suggested as mediators of social difference in birth weight.2,3 This paper uses data from the 1958 British national birth cohort to study variables, originating at different stages in the maternal life course, that may mediate the disparity in birth weight.


    I undertook secondary analysis of data on first reported pregnancies ending in live, singleton births to female members of the 1958 British national birth cohort4 up to age 33 years. Gestation (<37 weeks versus 37+ weeks), daily cigarette smoking in pregnancy …

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    • Funding: none.

    • Conflicts of interest: none declared.

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