Date of Award

Fall 12-20-2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Lisa Casanova

Second Advisor

Dr. Dajun Dai

Abstract

Objective: To assess the affect of pregnant women residing in a USDA designated food desert on the development of pregnancy-associated morbidities

Results: Living in a USDA food desert is not significantly associated with the development of pregnancy-associated morbidity [OR=0.973; CI: 0.835-1.134; p-value=0.728]. Backward stepwise regression showed all proposed potential confounders were significantly associated with the development of pregnancy-associated morbidity. These potential confounders include maternal age, regular exercise routine or previous diagnosis of diabetes or hypertension (p-values < 0.02).

Conclusion: Residing in a USDA designated food desert is not associated with the development of pregnancy-related morbidity. This analysis suggests other sociodemographic risk factors, such as maternal age or exercise routine, as indicators of morbidity rather than food accessibility.

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