Risk factors for low birth weight infants of hispanic, African American, and white women in Bexar County, Texas: Populations at risk across the lifespan: Empirical studies

Rosalie Tierney-Gumaer, Elizabeth Reifsnider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


Objectives: The aim of this study was to compare the risk factors in women who delivered an infant of low birth weight (LBW, <2,500 g) versus women who delivered an infant weighing >2,500 g in a large metropolitan county (Bexar) in South Texas. Design: An exploratory case comparison design was used to identify factors related to LBW outcomes in women receiving prenatal care. Sample: The cases were obtained from community hospitals. A stratified random sample was selected from a population of 38,064 infant births, of which 2,910 were identified as LBW. The final sample size was N=321 (<2,500 g, n=151; ≥2,500 g, n=170). Measurements: Dependent variable of infant birth weight; independent variables of maternal age, maternal race/ethnicity, education, smoking, prior pregnancy history, timing of and number of prenatal visits, prepregnancy body mass index and weight gain during pregnancy, and past medical history and medical problems during pregnancy. Results: Independent variables found to be predictive of LBW in this study included maternal race/ethnicity, timing of first prenatal visit, number of prenatal visits, prior pregnancy history, and maternal weight gain. Conclusions: This study confirmed previous findings that African American women are at a higher risk for LBW deliveries and demonstrated that Anglo and Hispanic women have similar rates of LBW deliveries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)390-400
Number of pages11
JournalPublic Health Nursing
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2008
Externally publishedYes



  • Low birth weight
  • Minority health
  • Prenatal care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

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