Stress and Social Support as Risk Factors for the Occurrence of Neural Tube Defect-Affected Pregnancies in Women Living Along the Texas-Mexico Border

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1999-06-01

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Herron, Kathryn M.

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Herron, Kathryn M., Stress and Social Support as Risk Factors for the Occurrence of Neural Tube Defect-Affected Pregnancies in Women Living Along the Texas-Mexico Border. Master of Public Health, June, 1999, 59 pp., 8 tables, 1 figure, references, 78 titles. Data were derived from the case-control study of the Texas Department of Health’s Neural Tube Defect Project, involving women living along the Texas-Mexico border, June 1995 to October 1998. Social support and stress information was obtained from a questionnaire, and a residual stress scale was created to determine an aggregate measure for each subject. Interviews were conducted with 261 women, with 1.2 controls to each case. Having high residual stress was found to be a significant risk factor for NTDs. Other significant risk factors included periconceptional injury, residential mobility, having no relatives to talk about private matters, and discontent with relationships.

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