Low birth weight and parental resources in Italy

Silvia Meggiolaro


This paper studies the disparities in low birth weight in Italy according to socio-economic status, using data updated to 2005. In particular, the two components of low birth weight, prematurity and intrauterine growth retardation, are considered separately. Results of multinomial models show an effect of maternal socio-economic characteristics only for growth retarded births: women who are unmarried and who have low educational level have the highest risks to have restricted foetal growth, even controlling for physiological aspects. The prematurity component presents, instead, some inequalities according to father’s employment status. This paternal factor influences also intrauterine growth retardation.


low birth weight; parental resources; Italy

Full Text



ISSN: 2035-5556

Reg. Tribunale di Roma n. 3321/54