Association of neighbourhood socioeconomic trajectories with preterm birth and small-for-gestational-age in the Netherlands: a nationwide population-based study

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Abstract

Background: Adverse birth outcomes have serious health consequences, not only during infancy but throughout the entire life course. Most evidence linking neighbourhood socioeconomic status (SES) to birth outcomes is based on cross-sectional SES measures, which do not reflect neighbourhoods’ dynamic nature. We investigated the association between neighbourhood SES trajectories and adverse birth outcomes, i.e. preterm birth and being small-for-gestational-age (SGA), for births occurring in the Netherlands between 2003 and 2017. Methods: We linked individual-level data from the Dutch perinatal registry to the Netherlands Institute for Social Research neighbourhood SES scores. Based on changes in their SES across four-year periods, neighbourhoods were categorised into seven trajectories. To investigate the association between neighbourhood SES trajectories and birth outcomes we used adjusted multilevel logistic regression models. Findings: Data on 2 334 036 singleton births were available for analysis. Women living in stable low-SES neighbourhoods had higher odds of preterm birth (OR[95%CI]= 1·12[1·07-1·17]) and SGA (OR[95%CI]= 1·19[1·15-1·23]), compared to those in high SES areas. Higher odds of preterm birth (OR[95%CI]= 1·12[1·05-1·20]) and SGA (OR[95%CI]=1·12[1·06-1·18]) were also observed for those living in areas declining to low SES. Women living in a neighbourhood where SES improved from low to medium showed higher odds of preterm birth (OR[95%CI]= 1·09[1·02-1·18]), but not of SGA (OR[95%CI]= 1·04[0.98-1·10]). The odds of preterm or SGA birth in other areas were comparable to those seen in high SES areas. Interpretation: In the Netherlands, disadvantaged neighbourhood SES trajectories were associated with higher odds of adverse birth outcomes. Longitudinal neighbourhood SES measures should also be taken into account when selecting a target population for public health interventions. Funding: Erasmus Initiative Smarter Choices for Better Health.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100205
JournalThe Lancet Regional Health - Europe
Volume10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2021

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