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September 1950

GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF NEGRO INFANTS: II. Relation of Birth Weight, Body Length and Epiphysial Maturation to Economic Status

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, Howard University School of Medicine, and the Pediatric Service of Freedmen's Hospital.

Am J Dis Child. 1950;80(3):370-378. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1950.04040020381002

THE AVERAGE birth weights previously reported for Negro infants are 100 to 500 Gm. less than those reported for white infants. Since these figures have been based on medically indigent patients, the possible effect of socioeconomic conditions must be considered before the lower birth weights of Negroes can be ascribed to inherent racial factors.

Analysis of birth weights at Freedmen's Hospital gave higher averages than did analyses of other series on Negro infants.1 Knowing no other explanation for this fact, we assumed it to be due to the better economic status of Negroes in the District of Columbia.

In the present study we have attempted to determine the effect of economic status on birth weight, body length and osseous maturation of newborn Negro infants. The epiphysial centers chosen for study were the distal femoral and proximal tibial, since these begin to calcify a few weeks before or after term.


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