Analyzing Trends and Patterns in Adverse Birth Outcomes in Massachusetts from 2000-2014

Authors: Madeleine Haynes*, Clark University - Worcester, MA, Yelena Ogneva-Himmelberger, Clark University
Topics: Geography and Urban Health, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: Health, Public Health, Births, Massachusetts, US, Spatio-Temporal, Space Time,
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 12:40 PM / 2:20 PM
Room: Tyler, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This study explores spatio-temporal trends and patterns in adverse birth outcomes (ABO) in the state of Massachusetts from 2000-2014. ABO include low birth weight (< 2500 g) and preterm deliveries (gestational age <= 37 weeks). This research evaluates if there are areas in Massachusetts that have experienced statistically significant increases or decreases in ABO throughout the study period. Birth data was obtained from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and only singleton, live births were included for the analysis. The data were aggregated to census tracts, and the total number of births and the number of ABOs were calculated for each census tract for each year. In total, 1469 census tracts were included in this analysis. Births to black mothers and births to white mothers will be separated to evaluate if trends in ABO are similar regardless of race as previous literature has identified a much higher rate of ABO in births to black women. Trends will be evaluated using the Space Time Cube, and patterns will be further explored through an OLS and GWR to identify potential correlations between elevated rates of ABO and socioeconomic characteristics. Results of this study can be used to identify areas that are experiencing an increase or high prevalence in ABO to potentially allow more effective, targeted intervention methods.

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