Parental socioeconomic status and low birthweight, preterm delivery, and small for gestational age in Taiwan

P. C. Chen, P. E. Doyle, L. Pai, Jung-Der Wang

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5 Citations (Scopus)


The associations between socioeconomic factors and reproductive health in Taiwan were measured by examining the relationship between birth outcomes versus parental education, occupation and family income. Women at the six-month pregnancy and receiving prenatal care at the Taipei Municipal Maternal and Child Hospital (TMMCH) during 1984-87 were enrolled. Three trained interviewers, using a structured questionnaire, obtained detailed information of subjects and their husbands. One medical assistant abstracted information on birth outcomes from medical records after the delivery of newborns. A total of 12,273 singleton live births in this ethnically homogeneous Chinese population were analyzed. Birth outcome variables included low birth weight (LBW), smallness for gestational age (SGA), and preterm delivery (PTD). Potential risk factors associated with these outcomes were investigated using multiple logistic regression models. Women with less education were associated with approximately twice the odds of having a SGA infant (RR = 1.80, 95% CI = 1.26-2.59) compared to women with a higher education. Fathers with low levels of education also had a higher risk of having a LBW infant (RR = 1.68, 95% CI = 1.02-2.77). Parental occupation and family income were not significant predictors for adverse birth outcomes. We conclude that education is a more favorable socioeconomic indicator in Taiwan for examining birth outcome than is occupation or family income.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-115
Number of pages11
JournalChinese Journal of Public Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Jan 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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