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PURPOSE Interest in the effects of neighbourhood or local area social characteristics on health has increased in recent years, but to date the existing evidence has not been systematically reviewed. Multilevel or contextual analyses of social factors and health represent a possible reconciliation between two divergent epidemiological paradigms-individual(More)
BACKGROUND The 'ethnic density hypothesis' is a proposition that members of ethnic minority groups may have better mental health when they live in areas with higher proportions of people of the same ethnicity. Investigations into this hypothesis have resulted in a complex and sometimes disparate literature. AIMS To systematically identify relevant(More)
Whether or not the scale of a society's income inequality is a determinant of population health is still regarded as a controversial issue. We decided to review the evidence and see if we could find a consistent interpretation of both the positive and negative findings. We identified 168 analyses in 155 papers reporting research findings on the association(More)
Studies examining the effects of neighbourhood characteristics have reported what has been called a 'group density' effect on health, such that members of low status minority communities living in an area with a higher proportion of their own racial or ethnic group tend to have better health than those who live in areas with a lower proportion. In this(More)
OBJECTIVES To see if obesity, deaths from diabetes, and daily calorie intake are associated with income inequality among developed countries. DESIGN Ecological study of 21 developed countries.Countries: Countries were eligible for inclusion if they were among the top 50 countries with the highest gross national income per capita by purchasing power parity(More)
OBJECTIVES Recent research suggests that in utero exposure to maternal smoking is a risk factor for conduct disorder and delinquency. We review evidence of causality, a controversial but important public health question. METHODS We analyzed studies of maternal prenatal smoking and offspring antisocial behavior within a causal framework. RESULTS The(More)
Genetic susceptibility to antisocial behavior may increase fetal sensitivity to prenatal exposure to cigarette smoke. Testing putative gene x exposure mechanisms requires precise measurement of exposure and outcomes. We tested whether a functional polymorphism in the gene encoding the enzyme monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) interacts with exposure to predict(More)
This study shows that living in a better area reduces the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes but, among African-American women, living in an area in which they are in a racial minority may increase the risk. Using the 1991 cohort of single infants born to African-American women in Chicago, we measured census tract socioeconomic status and defined women as(More)
OBJECTIVES We investigated whether mothers from ethnic minority groups have better pregnancy outcomes when they live in counties with higher densities of people from the same ethnic group-despite such areas tending to be more socioeconomically deprived. METHODS In a population-based US study, we used multilevel logistic regression analysis to test whether(More)
During the 20th century, recommendations for maternal weight gain in pregnancy were controversial, ranging from rigid restriction to encouragement of ample gain. In 1990, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommended weight-gain ranges with the primary goal of improving infant birth weight. These guidelines were widely adopted but not universally accepted.(More)