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Woman's health, education and marital status pre-pregnancy affect birth weight of her daughters, granddaughters

Study by UCI sociologist is first to tie low natal weight to biological, social factors three generations deep

A woman’s weight at birth, education level and marital status pre-pregnancy can have repercussions for two generations, putting her children and grandchildren at higher risk of low birth weight, according to a new study by Jennifer B. Kane, assistant professor of sociology at the University of California, Irvine. The findings are the first to tie social and biological factors together using population data in determining causes for low birth weight.

"We know that low-birth-weight babies are more susceptible to later physical and cognitive difficulties and that these difficulties can sharpen the social divide in the U.S. But knowing more about what causes low birth weight can help alleviate the intergenerational perpetuation of social inequality through poor infant health," said Kane, formerly a postdoctoral scholar at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where the research was conducted. She joined UCI in July. More...


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Generational issues place some infants at higher risk of low birth weight

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