Adverse birth outcomes associated with open dumpsites in Alaska Native villages

Susan Gilbreath, Philip H Kass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


This retrospective cohort study evaluated adverse birth outcomes in infants whose birth records indicated maternal residence in villages containing dumpsites potentially hazardous to health and environment. Birth records from 1997 to 2001 identified 10,073 eligible infants born to mothers in 197 Alaska Native villages. Outcomes included low or very low birth weight, preterm birth, and intrauterine growth retardation. Infants from mothers in villages with intermediate (odds ratio (OR) = 1.73, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.06, 2.84) and high (OR = 2.06, 95% CI: 1.28, 3.32) hazard dumpsites had a higher proportion of low birth weight infants than did infants from mothers in the referent category. More infants born to mothers from intermediate (OR = 4.38, 95% CI: 2.20, 8.77) and high (OR = 3.98, 95% CI: 1.93, 8.21) hazard villages suffered from intrauterine growth retardation. On average, infants weighed 36 g less (95% CI: -71.2, -0.8) and 55.4 g less (95% CI: -95.3, -15.6) when born to highly exposed mothers than did infants in the intermediate and low exposure groups, respectively, an effect even larger in births to Alaska Native mothers only. No differences in incidence were detected across exposure levels for other outcomes. This is the first study to evaluate adverse pregnancy outcomes associated with open dumpsites in Alaska Native villages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)518-528
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 2006


  • Alaska
  • Environmental exposure
  • Ethnic groups
  • Fetal growth retardation
  • Hazardous waste
  • Infant
  • Low birth weight
  • Pregnancy outcome
  • Premature birth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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