Alex Dalton – Project I

Low birthweight in the Bradford Better Start area: exploring the change between the pre-austerity and austerity periods, and the association with predictors of low birthweight at each period


Low birthweight in Bradford is considerably higher than the rest of the UK, particularly in areas where material deprivation is prevalent. The Bradford Better Start area has a persistently high level of material deprivation. The Born in Bradford cohort (2007-2011) and their Better Start cohort (2016-2020) allows low birthweight to be studied across a multi-ethnic community, and compared between the pre-austerity and austerity periods. The rich, longitudinal dataset enables gestational and socio-economic factors associated with low birthweight to be investigated, along with whether those associations have changed over time. This research will involve informative data visualisations. Where factors are identified as predictors of low birthweight, the project will explore developing a predictive model. Low birthweight has been linked to poor health outcomes and the nature of its role (whether causal or correlated) is heavily studied and debated. Thus, identifying any meaningful indicators for low birth weight is relevant to this debate and explores the feasibility of reducing the rate of low birth weight.