Is Social Mobility across the Life-Course Associated with Birth Outcomes? The Life-Course Influences on Fetal Environment (LIFE) Study
Theresa L. Osypuk, University of Minnesota
Jaime Slaughter-Acey, Drexel University
Rebecca Kehm, University of Minnesota
Dawn Misra, Wayne State University
Higher adult socioeconomic position (SEP) is associated with lower risk of poor birth outcomes. However, some demographic subgroups exhibit weaker health gradients, and few epidemiologic studies have incorporated lifecourse SEP. We tested whether social mobility from childhood was associated with lower risk of 2 potentially overlapping adverse birth outcomes (fetal growth (small-for-gestational-age, SGA); preterm birth (PTB)). Data derive from the 2009–2011 LIFE retrospective cohort study among Black women. SEP was measured for childhood and adulthood by survey in adulthood, for two constructs: educational attainment and financial sufficiency. Social mobility was the standardized difference between adulthood and childhood SEP. From covariate-adjusted Poisson regression models, as hypothesized, we found that improved social mobility, either education or financial, was protective for fetal growth (1-SD educational mobility RR=0.78 (95% CI: 0.66-0.94)). We found no association for PTB. Social mobility from childhood may pattern fetal growth for infants of Black women.