Living in violence: Neighborhood domestic violence and small for gestational age births

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ObjectivesTo determine the association between neighborhood domestic violence and small-for-gestational-age (SGA) birth and to examine if there is a differential impact of neighborhood domestic violence on SGA births by race in a high crime community.MethodsThis analysis includes all birth records issued in New Orleans, Louisiana from 2011 to 2012 geocoded by census tract (N=177 census tracts, N=8322 women). Hierarchical modeling and ecologic spatial analysis were used to examine the area-effect of neighborhood domestic violence on SGA births, independent of individual-level predictors and accounting for the propensity to live in high domestic violence neighborhoods.ResultsTests for spatial autocorrelation reveled area-level clustering and overlap of SGA and domestic violent rates. Pregnant women living in high domestic violence areas were more likely to give birth to an SGA infant compared to women in low-domestic violence areas (OR=1.04, 95%CI: 1.01, 1.08), net of the effects of individual-level factors and propensity scores.ConclusionNeighborhood-level attributes including rates of domestic violence may increase women's risk for SGA birth, highlighting a policy-relevant and potentially amenable exposure.HighlightsLiving in areas with high neighborhood domestic violence rates is associated with increased odds of adverse birth outcomes.Spatial analysis detected global and local clustering of tract-level SGA births and domestic violence rates.The impact of domestic violence on SGA births marginally differed by race, with a slightly stronger impact for Black women.

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