Neighborhood-level Socioeconomic Position During Early Pregnancy and Risk of Gastroschisis : Epidemiology

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Perinatal Epidemiology

Neighborhood-level Socioeconomic Position During Early Pregnancy and Risk of Gastroschisis

Neo, Dayna T.a; Desrosiers, Tania A.a; Martin, Chantel L.a,b; Carmichael, Suzan L.c,d; Gucsavas-Calikoglu, Mugee; Conway, Kristin M.f; Evans, Shannon Pruittg,h; Feldkamp, Marcia L.i; Gilboa, Suzanne M.g; Insaf  , Tabassum Z.j,k; Musfee, Fadi I.l,m; Shaw, Gary M.c; Shumate, Charles J.n; Werler, Martha M.o; Olshan, Andrew F.a;  the National Birth Defects Prevention Study

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Epidemiology 34(4):p 576-588, July 2023. | DOI: 10.1097/EDE.0000000000001621



Neighborhood-level socioeconomic position has been shown to influence birth outcomes, including selected birth defects. This study examines the un derstudied association between neighborhood-level socioeconomic position during early pregnancy and the risk of gastroschisis, an abdominal birth defect of increasing prevalence.


We conducted a case–control study of 1,269 gastroschisis cases and 10,217 controls using data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study (1997–2011). To characterize neighborhood-level socioeconomic position, we conducted a principal component analysis to construct two indices—Neighborhood Deprivation Index (NDI) and Neighborhood Socioeconomic Position Index (nSEPI). We created neighborhood-level indices using census socioeconomic indicators corresponding to census tracts associated with addresses where mothers lived the longest during the periconceptional period. We used generalized estimating equations to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs), with multiple imputations for missing data and adjustment for maternal race–ethnicity, household income, education, birth year, and duration of residence.


Mothers residing in moderate (NDI Tertile 2 aOR = 1.23; 95% CI = 1.03, 1.48 and nSEPI Tertile 2 aOR = 1.24; 95% CI = 1.04, 1.49) or low socioeconomic neighborhoods (NDI Tertile 3 aOR = 1.28; 95% CI = 1.05, 1.55 and nSEPI Tertile 3 aOR = 1.32, 95% CI = 1.09, 1.61) were more likely to deliver an infant with gastroschisis compared with mothers residing in high socioeconomic neighborhoods.


Our findings suggest that lower neighborhood-level socioeconomic position during early pregnancy is associated with elevated odds of gastroschisis. Additional epidemiologic studies may aid in confirming this finding and evaluating potential mechanisms linking neighborhood-level socioeconomic factors and gastroschisis.

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