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Living in a block group with a higher eviction rate is associated with increased odds of preterm delivery


Background Housing instability is associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. Recent studies indicate that eviction, which may affect a larger segment of the population than other forms of housing instability, is also associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. However, these studies evaluate eviction across large areas, such as counties, so it remains unclear whether these patterns extend to individual-level pregnancy outcomes.

Methods We used data on a cohort of all singleton live births at a single Chicago hospital between March 2008 and March 2018 to investigate the associations between block-group eviction rates and individual adverse pregnancy outcomes. Eviction data were obtained from the Eviction Lab at Princeton University. Generalised estimating equations were used to estimate associations and account for correlations among individuals living in the same block groups.

Results Individuals living in block groups in the highest quartile for eviction filing rate were 1.17 times as likely to deliver preterm (95% CI: 1.08 to 1.27) and 1.13 times as likely to deliver a small for gestational age infant (95% CI: 1.03 to 1.25) as compared with individuals living in block groups in the lowest quartile. Further, tests for linear trend indicated that for each quartile increase in eviction filing rate, there was a corresponding increase in odds of adverse outcomes (p<0.05). Results were strongest in magnitude for those with low neighbourhood and individual socioeconomic status, who are most likely to be renters and affected by local eviction policies.

Conclusion Our results suggest that individuals living in block groups with higher eviction rates are more likely to deliver preterm. Future research should explore associations of individual experience with eviction on adverse pregnancy outcomes and examine whether policies to improve tenant protections also impact pregnancy outcomes.

  • housing
  • pregnancy
  • neighborhood/place

Data availability statement

No data are available. We do not have permission to share study data.

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