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Ethnic Differences in Gestational Age Exist, but Are They ‘Normal’?


Savitz, David A. (2004). Ethnic Differences in Gestational Age Exist, but Are They ‘Normal’?. International Journal of Epidemiology, 33, 114-115.


Research on preterm birth and low birthweight has been successful at two levels—the broad, social level, where international, socioeconomic, and racial/ethnic differences are clear, and at the mechanistic, clinical level, where pregnancy complications, prior adverse outcomes, and certain pre-existing chronic diseases are strongly related to adverse pregnancy outcome. Research on everything in between, i.e. the more readily modifiable behaviours or health services, has been less successful with the exception of cigarette smoking and reduced birthweight. Despite intensive effort, research on diet, stress, physical activity, environmental pollutants, and prenatal care has not taught us a great deal about what causes or how to prevent these adverse pregnancy outcomes.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

International Journal of Epidemiology


Savitz, David A.