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March 1, 2021

Association of Eviction During Pregnancy With Birth Outcomes: An Issue of Health Equity

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Department of Strategy, Boston Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Pediatr. 2021;175(5):464-465. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.6556

In this issue of JAMA Pediatrics, Himmelstein and Desmond1 pose the question whether eviction during pregnancy is associated with adverse birth outcomes. The authors conduct a retrospective cohort study linking Georgia birth certificate data to the state’s eviction court records, thereby reconstructing the timing of eviction actions relative to childbirth. The authors compare birth outcomes of infants whose mothers were evicted during pregnancy (n = 10 135) with those of infants whose mothers were evicted at other times (n = 78 727). Their main findings are that eviction during pregnancy is associated with lower infant birth weight (mean difference, −26.88 [95% CI, −39.53 to −14.24] g) and gestational age (mean difference, −0.09 [95% CI, −0.16 to −0.03] weeks) and increased rates of low birth weight (0.88 [95% CI, 0.23-1.54] percentage points) and prematurity (1.14 [95% CI, 0.21-2.06] percentage points). The association of eviction with birth weight appears to be most significant during the second and third trimesters, and although the CIs appear to overlap across subgroups, eviction seems to affect birth weight to a greater degree among Black women than among White women.

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