Document Detail

Race and the inheritance of low birth weight.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11521458     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
This paper uses intergenerational data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) to address the black-white difference in propensities toward low birth weight (LBW). We determine that socioeconomic conditions account for some variation in low birth weight across race. Further, while race differences in the risk of low birth weight cannot be explained entirely, we find that the inheritance of parental birth weight status dramatically reduces the black-white gap in low birth weight. Intergenerational legacies of poor infant health explain the largest share of racial disparities in filial birth weight. We then try to assess whether this intergenerational transmission of low birth weight is indeed genetic by using grandparent-fixed effects models to factor out, to a great extent, family socioeconomic circumstances. We find that even within this framework, both father's and mother's birth weight status have an important impact on filial outcomes. However, the degree of inheritance is weaker for African Americans than for other races. Finally, we theorize that the importance of paternal birth weight status implies a genetic association that does not work through the uterine environment but rather through the fetus itself.
D Conley; N G Bennett
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Social biology     Volume:  47     ISSN:  0037-766X     ISO Abbreviation:  Soc Biol     Publication Date:    2000 Spring-Summer
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2001-08-27     Completed Date:  2001-10-04     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0205621     Medline TA:  Soc Biol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  77-93     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Sociology, New York University, Baruch School of Public Affairs and Graduate Center, City University of New York, USA.
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MeSH Terms
African Americans / education,  psychology,  statistics & numerical data
African Continental Ancestry Group / genetics*
Birth Order
Birth Weight / genetics*
Educational Status
European Continental Ancestry Group / education,  genetics*,  psychology,  statistics & numerical data
Health Behavior
Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
Income / statistics & numerical data
Infant, Newborn
Logistic Models
Longitudinal Studies
Marital Status / statistics & numerical data
Mothers / education,  statistics & numerical data
Risk Factors
Socioeconomic Factors
United States

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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