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Researching how residential environment impacts preterm delivery in African-Americans
Date:6/4/2014

DETROIT High levels of racial disparities in preterm delivery exist, with African Americans having higher rates than non-Hispanic whites. Since traditional risk factors do not fully account for this disparity, other explanations are needed and researchers at Wayne State University are teaming up to find answers.

Residential environment may be an important risk factor for adverse birth outcomes, given the strikingly different neighborhoods in which African American and white women reside and the resulting racial disparity in exposures to social determinants of health. Some aspects of residential environment have been linked to adverse birth outcomes, including preterm delivery, however the majority of existing studies have only defined neighborhood exposures using aggregate data from the U.S. Census, which is unable to identify aspects of residential environment that may be detrimental. Recent evidence suggests that subjective assessments of neighborhoods from residents may be able to provide unique contextual information not available in Census data, including social environment.

To further examine the links between objective and perceived physical and social residential environment and preterm delivery among African American women, a Wayne State University School of Medicine researcher has secured a three-year, $173,556 Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development of the National Institutes of Health. The research project "Residential Environment and Preterm Delivery among African American Women" will use data collected from 1,411 metropolitan Detroit-area women, enrolled in a study shortly after they gave birth to a single infant at Providence Hospital in Southfield, Mich. from 2009 to 2012.

Shawnita Sealy-Jefferson, Ph.D., M.P.H, postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences, will use the grant to
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Contact: Julie O'Connor
julie.oconnor@wayne.edu
313-577-8845
Wayne State University - Office of the Vice President for Research
Source:Eurekalert  

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