New Study Evaluates Disparities in Birth Outcomes Due to Air Pollution and Social Impacts

Dr. Tarik Benmarhnia, an affiliated researcher of the Center for Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation, led a paper assessing the disparities in preterm birth (PTB) between black mothers and white mothers in California, specifically focusing on how air pollution and social factors contribute to those disparities. Using decomposition analysis, the researchers found that social factors accounted for a greater proportion of black-white disparities in birth outcome, with 17.5% of disparity due to individual-level variables and 16.1% due to community-level variables. Yet, air pollution contributed to a significant 5.7% disparity in birth outcome between black and white mothers.

The paper, “Decomposition Analysis of Black-White Disparities in Birth Outcomes: The Relative Contribution of Air Pollution and Social Factors in California” published by Environmental Health Perspectives, is available for free access through the National Center for Biotechnology Information under the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Read the full paper here.

Learn more about Dr. Benmarhnia and other research affiliates here.

scripps oceanography uc san diego