Spatial epidemiology of gestational age and birth weight in Switzerland: Census-based linkage study

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Veronika SkrivankovaMatthias Egger

Abstract

Background: Gestational age and birth weight are strong predictors of infant morbidity and mortality. Understanding spatial variation can inform policies to reduce health inequalities. We examined small-area variation in gestational age and birth weight in Switzerland. Methods: All singleton live births recorded in the Swiss Live Birth Register 2011 to 2014 were eligible. We deterministically linked the Live Birth Register with census and survey data to create datasets including neonatal and pregnancy-related variables, parental characteristics and geographical variables. We produced maps of 705 areas and fitted linear mixed-effect models to assess to what extent spatial variation was explained by these variables. Results: We analysed all 315,177 eligible live births. Area-level averages of gestational age varied between 272-279 days, and between 3138-3467g for birth weight. The fully adjusted models explained 31% and 87% of spatial variation of gestational age and birth weight, respectively. Language region explained most of the variation, with shorter gestational age and lower birth weight in French- and Italian- than in German-speaking areas. Other variables explaining variation were, for gestational age, the level of urbani...Continue Reading

Related Concepts

Birth
Census Methods
Epidemiology
Spatial Distribution
Swiss
Italians
Extent
Pregnancy Related
Analysis
Birth Registry Number

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