Women Who Were Low Birthweight Babies Tend to Have Low Birthweight Children and Grandchildren

kaneA new study by Jennifer B. Kane, a new assistant professor of sociology at the University of California, Irvine, has found that a woman’s weight when she was born, marital status at the time of pregnancy, and a woman’s level of education can have repercussions for generations to come in regards to low birthweight babies.

Dr. Kane examined records of nearly 1,600 mother/daughter pairs. “The odds of having a low birthweight baby were one and a half to two times greater for mothers who themselves were low birthweight babies,” Dr. Kane found. She notes that pre-pregnancy education level can be transmitted from mothers to daughters across at least three generations resulting in low birthweight grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Dr. Kane is a graduate of Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in sociology and demography from Pennsylvania State University.

The study, “An Integrative Model of Inter- and Intragenerational Preconception Processes Influencing Birthweight in the United States,” was published in the June issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior. It may be accessed here. The study was funded by a grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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