Center for Disaster and Risk Analysis, Department of Sociology, School of Global Environmental Sustainability, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA.
Maternal Hurricane Exposure and Fetal Distress Risk
Article first published online: 8 JUL 2010
© 2010 Society for Risk Analysis
Volume 30, Issue 10, pages 1590–1601, October 2010
How to Cite
Zahran, S., Snodgrass, J. G., Peek, L. and Weiler, S. (2010), Maternal Hurricane Exposure and Fetal Distress Risk. Risk Analysis, 30: 1590–1601. doi: 10.1111/j.1539-6924.2010.01453.x
- Issue published online: 8 JUL 2010
- Article first published online: 8 JUL 2010
- Fetal distress;
- Hurricane Andrew;
- maternal exposure;
- natural experiment
Logistic regression and spatial analytic techniques are used to model fetal distress risk as a function of maternal exposure to Hurricane Andrew. First, monthly time series compare the proportion of infants born distressed in hurricane affected and unaffected areas. Second, resident births are analyzed in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, before, during, and after Hurricane Andrew. Third, resident births are analyzed in all Florida locales with 100,000 or more persons, comparing exposed and unexposed gravid females. Fourth, resident births are analyzed along Hurricane Andrew's path from southern Florida to northeast Mississippi. Results show that fetal distress risk increases significantly with maternal exposure to Hurricane Andrew in second and third trimesters, adjusting for known risk factors. Distress risk also correlates with the destructive path of Hurricane Andrew, with higher incidences of fetal distress found in areas of highest exposure intensity. Hurricane exposed African-American mothers were more likely to birth distressed infants. The policy implications of in utero costs of natural disaster exposure are discussed.