Altitude, Birth Weight, and Infant Mortality
Timothy B. Gage, University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY)
Erin O'Neill, University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY)
Furrina F. Lee, University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY)
Howard Stratton, University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY)
Birth weight decreases with increasing altitude. However, some argue that there is no corresponding increase in infant mortality, implying that birth weight is not on the causal pathway to mortality. This research statistically examines the relationship between altitude, birth weight, and infant mortality using 1995-2002 linked birth/death files: European-American cohorts from high altitude Colorado and low altitude Iowa. Socioeconomic variation is controlled for by education. CDDmlr is used, which identifies “direct” and “indirect” effects of altitude on mortality in two latent birth categories interpreted as “normal” and “compromised” births. Mean birth weight declines in “normal” births 156-185 grams. The variance declines 484-787 grams2 in “normal” births and 11,025-22,201 grams2 in “compromised” births. There is one significant increase in mortality in male, low socioeconomic, “normal” births. There are no indirect effects of birth weight on mortality indicating that birth weight distribution shifts are not involved in the change in mortality.
Presented in Poster Session 7