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Using Geographic Information Science to Explore Associations between Air Pollution, Environmental Amenities, and Preterm Births

1 Department of International Development, Community and Environment, Clark University, Worcester, MA;
2 Departments of Obstetrics/Gynecology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA;
3 Departments of Obstetrics/Gynecology and Pediatrics, University of Massachusetts Medical School/UMass Memorial Health Care, Worcester, MA

Special Issues: Spatial Aspects of Health: Methods and Applications

The study uses geographic information science (GIS) and statistics to find out if there are statistical differences between full term and preterm births to non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic Black, and Hispanic mothers in their exposure to air pollution and access to environmental amenities (green space and vendors of healthy food) in the second largest city in New England, Worcester, Massachusetts. Proximity to a Toxic Release Inventory site has a statistically significant effect on preterm birth regardless of race. The air-pollution hazard score from the Risk Screening Environmental Indicators Model is also a statistically significant factor when preterm births are categorized into three groups based on the degree of prematurity. Proximity to green space and to a healthy food vendor did not have an effect on preterm births. The study also used cluster analysis and found statistically significant spatial clusters of high preterm birth volume for non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic Black, and Hispanic mothers.
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Copyright Info: © 2015, Yelena Ogneva-Himmelberger, et al., licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

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