Objective Despite well-known adverse health effects of maternal smoking during pregnancy (MSP), it is still unclear if MSP varies geographically and if neighborhood socioeconomic deprivation (SED) plays an important role in MSP. This study aims to investigate small-area geographic variation in MSP and examine the association of SED with MSP. Methods The Missouri Adolescent Female Twin Study (MOAFTS) is a cohort study of female like-sex twins born in Missouri to Missouri-resident parents during 1975-1985. Biological mothers completed a baseline interview in 1995-1998 and reported MSP with the twins. Residential address of the mother at birth was geocoded. We developed a census tract-level SED index using a common factor approach based on 21 area-level socioeconomic variables from the 1980 Census data. Multilevel logistic regressions estimated geographic heterogeneity (random effect) in MSP and the odds ratios (ORs, fixed effects) of neighborhood SED associated with MSP. Results Of 1658 MOAFTS mothers, 35.2% reported any MSP and 21.9%reported MSP beyond the first trimester. Neighborhood SED was associated with any MSP (the highest vs. the lowest quartile: OR = 1.90, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.40-2.57, Ptrend<0.001) and MSP beyond the first trimester (OR = 1.98, 95% CI = 1.38-2.85, Ptrend = 0.002) in unadjusted analyses. After adjusting for individual covariates (demographics, socioeconomic conditions, alcohol use, and parents' cohabitation), neighborhood SED was not associated with MSP, but geographic variation still persisted in MSP (variance = 0.41, P = 0.003) and in MSP beyond the first trimester (variance = 0.82, P<0.001). Conclusions Neighborhood SED was associated with MSP in unadjusted analyses but this association could be explained by individual socioeconomic conditions. Nonetheless, significant geographic variation in MSP persisted and was not accounted for by differences in neighborhood SED. To develop effective interventions to reduce MSP, further studies are necessary to explore underlying reasons for its geographic variation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0153930
JournalPloS one
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2016


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