premature infantDoes the neighborhood where you live affect risk factors for very preterm birth? According to a study published in BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, the answer is yes. Researchers in France found a correlation between social factors present in certain neighborhoods and increased risk of very preterm birth.

Data collected during a population cohort was evaluated for the study. Researchers investigated 1,118 live births recorded in 2003. The live births were recorded in two neighborhoods – Trent, UK and lle-de-France, France. Unemployment rate, education level and number of manual workers in the neighborhood were all factors taken into consideration.

Based on the study, infants born in neighborhoods that fell into the deprived category were more likely to be delivered prematurely. Though no differences in fetal outcomes were noted between the two groups, women in deprived areas were less likely to breastfeed, which could account for increased risk of negative long-term outcomes.

Source: Bonet M, Smith LK, Pilkington H, Draper ES, Zeitlin J. Neighbourhood deprivation and very preterm birth in an English and French cohort. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2013 Apr 25;13(1):97.