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Differences in birth-weight outcomes: A longitudinal study based on siblings

Bacci, Silvia and Bartolucci, Francesco and Chiavarini, Manuela and Minelli, Liliana and Pieroni, Luca (2014): Differences in birth-weight outcomes: A longitudinal study based on siblings.

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Objectives We investigate about the differences in birthweight between firstand second-borns, evaluating the impact of changes in pregnancy (e.g., gestational age), demographic (e.g., age), and social (e.g., education level, marital status) maternal characteristics.

Data and Methods All analyses are performed on data collected in Umbria (Italy) taking into account a set of 792 women who delivered twice from 2005 to 2008. Firstly, we use a univariate paired t-test for the comparison between weights of first- and second-borns. Secondly, we use linear and nonlinear regression approaches in order to: (i) evaluate the effect of demographic and social maternal characteristics and (ii) predict the odds-ratio of low and high birthweight infants, respectively.

Results We find that the birthweight of second-borns is significantly higher than that of first-borns. Statistically significant effects are related with a longer gestational age, an increased number of visits during the pregnancy, and the gender of infants. On the other hand, we do not observe any significant effect related with mother’s age and with other characteristics of interest.

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