Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/105371
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Type: Journal article
Title: Maternal education inequalities in height growth rates in early childhood: 2004 Pelotas birth cohort study
Author: Matijasevich, A.
Howe, L.
Tilling, K.
Santos, I.
Barros, A.
Lawlor, D.
Citation: Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology, 2012; 26(3):236-249
Publisher: Wiley
Issue Date: 2012
ISSN: 0269-5022
1365-3016
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Alicia Matijasevich, Laura D. Howe, Kate Tilling, Iná S. Santos, Aluísio J.D. Barros and Debbie A. Lawlor
Abstract: Socio-economic inequalities in attained height have been reported in many countries. The aim of this study was to explore the age at which maternal education inequalities in child height emerge among children from a middle-income country. Using data from the 2004 Pelotas cohort study from Brazil we modelled individual height growth trajectories in 2106 boys and 1947 girls from birth to 4 years using a linear spline mixed-effects model. We examined the associations of maternal education with birth length and trajectories of growth in length/height, and explored the effect of adjusting for a number of potential confounder or mediator factors. We showed linear and positive associations of maternal education with birth length and length/height growth rates at 0-3 months and 12-29/32 months with very little association at 3-12 months, particularly in boys. By age 4 years the mean height of boys was 101.06 cm (SE = 0.28) in the lowest and 104.20cm (SE = 0.15) in the highest education category (mean difference 3.14 cm, SE = 0.32, P <0.001). Among girls the mean height was 100.02 cm (SE = 0.27) and 103.03 cm (SE = 0.15) in the lowest and highest education categories, respectively (mean difference 3.01 cm, SE = 0.31, P <0.001). For both boys and girls there was on average a 3-cm difference between the extreme education categories. Adjusting for maternal height reduced the observed birth length differences across maternal education categories, but differences in postnatal growth rates persisted. Our data demonstrate an increase in the absolute and relative inequality in height after birth; inequality increases from approximately 0.2 standard deviations of birth length to approximately 0.7 standard deviations of height at age 4, indicating that height inequality, which was already present at birth, widened through differential growth rates to age 2 years.
Keywords: Childhood height; Pelotas birth cohort; maternal education; child growth
Rights: © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
RMID: 0030042894
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3016.2011.01251.x
Appears in Collections:Public Health publications

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