Low birth weight (LBW) is a significant public health problem in the State of Georgia and in the United States. As the single most important predictor of infant mortality, LBW is associated with numerous developmental abnormalities that may impact overall quality of life of the affected infant. LBW is a multi-faceted problem that is strongly associated with many socioeconomic, demographic, and behavioral risk factors. Despite a concerted effort to reduce the rate, the national LBW rate has steadily increased. Given this trend, a more thorough investigation of the geographic variation of LBW, as well as the associated risk factors, is essential in establishing for relevant research protocols to evaluate current or proposed community health programs. LBW births in Georgia (Year 2000) were analyzed using a variety of techniques. Specifically, the purpose of this paper is to report the statewide geographic variation of LBW in Georgia using three common disease mapping techniques (Excessive Risk, Spatial Rates, and Spatial Empirical Bayes), the spatial clusters of LBW in Georgia, and the results of multi-level modeling of several key risk factors.
- Low Birth Weight Incidence,
- Spatial Analysis,