Smoking overrules many other risk factors for small for gestational age birth in less educated mothers

G. van den Berg, M. van Eijsden, F. Galindo Garre, T.G.M. Vrijkotte, R.J.B.J. Gemke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Although there is convincing evidence for the association between small for gestational age (SGA) and socioeconomic status (SES), it is not known to what extent explanatory factors contribute to this association. To examine to what extent risk factors could explain educational inequalities in SGA. In this study fully completed data were available for 3793 pregnant women of Dutch origin from a population-based cohort (ABCD study). Path-analysis was conducted to examine the role of explanatory factors in the relation of maternal education to SGA. Low-educated pregnant women had a higher risk of SGA offspring compared to the high-educated women (OR 1.98, 95% CI 1.35-2.89). In path-analysis, maternal cigarette smoking and maternal height explained this association. Maternal age, hypertension, chronic disease, late entry into antenatal care, neighborhood income, underweight, environmental cigarette smoking, drug abuse, alcohol use, caffeine intake, fish intake, folic acid intake, anxiety, and depressive symptoms did not play a role in the association between maternal education and SGA birth. Among a large array of potential factors, the elevated risk of SGA birth among low-educated women appeared largely attributable to maternal smoking and to a lesser extent to maternal height. To reduce educational inequalities more effort is required to include low-educated women especially in prenatal intervention programs such as smoking cessation programs instead of effort into reducing other SGA-risk factors, though these factors might still be relevant at the individual level
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-501
JournalEarly Human Development
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Cite this