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Table 1 Social and obstetric characteristics of participants in the 2008 HMHF Survey and all women who gave birth in Victoria and South Australia during the study period*

From: Stressful life events, social health issues and low birthweight in an Australian population-based birth cohort: challenges and opportunities in antenatal care

  HMHF Survey participants All women who gave birth
in study period
  No. % No. %
Maternal age     
≤24 years 416 9.9 1385 16
25-29 years 1053 25 2301 26.7
30-34 years 1604 38.1 2928 33.8
≥35 years 1138 27 2035 23.5
Relationship status     
Married or living with partner 4201 95.5 7573 87.6
Single 144 3.3 977 11.3
Divorced, separated or widowed 55 1.2 88 1.1
Equivalised household income (before tax) per annum (AUD)     
≤ $20,000 938 24.2 Not collected
$21,000-$40,000 1959 50.5   
≥$41,001 979 25.3   
Health care concession card     
Yes 949 21.9 Not collected
No 3394 78.2   
Educational attainment (secondary)     
Completed secondary school 3429 79.3 Not collected
Did not complete secondary school 894 20.7   
Educational attainment (tertiary)     
Completed tertiary education 2582 60 Not collected
Did not complete tertiary education 1722 40   
Mother's Country of birth     
Australia 3521 81.5 6605 76.3
Overseas - English speaking 272 6.3 478 5.6
Overseas - Non-English speaking 526 12.2 1567 18.1
Risk of medical complications in pregnancy     
Higher risk 1712 39.2 Not available in both states
Lower risk 2654 60.8   
Smoking in pregnancy     
Yes 752 17.6 Not available in both states
No 3516 82.4   
Maternal pre-pregnant BMI     
Underweight (< 18.5) 182 4.5 Not available in both states
Normal weight (18.5-24.9) 2400 58.9   
Overweight (25.0-29.9) 909 22.3   
Obese (≥30) 583 14.3   
Social health issues/stressful life events (12 months before birth)     
None 1440 33.1 Not available in both states
One to two issues 2144 49.3   
≥3 issues 768 17.7   
Parity     
First baby 1941 44.5 3609 41.6
Second or subsequent baby 2425 55.5 5060 58.4
Infant birthweight     
< 2500 g 179 4.1 565 6.5
2500 g-3999 g 3413 78.2 7183 81.9
≥4000 g 560 13.5 1019 11.6
  1. * Data on all women who gave birth in the study period obtained from the Victorian Perinatal Data Collection Unit and South Australian Pregnancy Outcome Unit; totals vary because of missing values