Human Nature

, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 335–378 | Cite as

Low birth weight, intrauterine growth-retarded, and pre-term infants

A research strategy
  • Troy D. Abell


Low birth weight, intrauterine growth retardation, and prematurity are overwhelming risk factors associated with infant mortality and morbidity. The lack of efficacious prenatal screening tests for these three outcomes illuminates the problems inherent in bivariate estimates of association. A biocultural strategy for research is presented, integrating societal and familial levels of analysis with the metabolic, immune, vascular, and neuroendocrine systems of the body. Policy decisions, it is argued, need to be based on this type of biocultural information in order to impact the difficult-to-change problems of low birth weight, intrauterine growth retardation, and prematurity.

Key words

Low birth weight Intrauterine growth retardation Prematurity Biocultural determinants of fetal growth Prenatal screening 


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Copyright information

© Walter de Gruyter, Inc 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Troy D. Abell
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of OklahomaNorman

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