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The impact of altitude on infant health in South America

Author

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  • Wehby, George L.
  • Castilla, Eduardo E.
  • Lopez-Camelo, Jorge

Abstract

Several studies report that altitude reduces birth weight. However, much remains unknown about effects in various altitude ranges and about the heterogeneity in altitude effects by fetal health endowments. This study estimates the effects of altitude in South America on the means and quantiles of birth weight and gestational age separately for two large samples born at altitude ranges of 5 to 1,280Â m and 1,854 to 3,600Â m. The study finds significant negative altitude effects on birth weight and gestational age in the low-altitude sample and on birth weight in the high-altitude sample. Altitude effects are larger for infants with very low fetal health endowments. The study finds differences in the effects of several inputs such as socioeconomic status and maternal fertility history and health between the two altitude samples. The study highlights the importance of adverse altitude effects on infant health when evaluating the costs and returns of policies that change the number of individuals who reside at higher altitude in both low and high altitude ranges.

Suggested Citation

  • Wehby, George L. & Castilla, Eduardo E. & Lopez-Camelo, Jorge, 2010. "The impact of altitude on infant health in South America," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 197-211, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:8:y:2010:i:2:p:197-211
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    10. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1997:87:6:1003-1007_2 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Wehby, George L. & Murray, Jeffrey C. & Castilla, Eduardo E. & Lopez-Camelo, Jorge S. & Ohsfeldt, Robert L., 2009. "Prenatal care demand and its effects on birth outcomes by birth defect status in Argentina," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 84-95, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. George L. Wehby & Kaitlin Prater & Ann Marie McCarthy & Eduardo E. Castilla & Jeffrey C. Murray, 2011. "The Impact of Maternal Smoking during Pregnancy on Early Child Neurodevelopment," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(2), pages 207-254.
    2. Skoufias, Emmanuel & Vinha, Katja, 2012. "Climate variability and child height in rural Mexico," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 54-73.
    3. Delajara, Marcelo & Wendelspiess Chávez Juárez, Florian, 2013. "Birthweight outcomes in Bolivia: The role of maternal height, ethnicity, and behavior," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 56-68.
    4. Molina, Oswaldo & Saldarriaga, Victor, 2017. "The perils of climate change: In utero exposure to temperature variability and birth outcomes in the Andean region," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 111-124.
    5. George L. Wehby & Lucas G. Gimenez & Jorge S. López-Camelo, 2017. "The impact of unemployment cycles on child and maternal health in Argentina," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 62(2), pages 197-207, March.
    6. Mulmi, Prajula & Block, Steven A. & Shively, Gerald E. & Masters, William A., 2016. "Climatic conditions and child height: Sex-specific vulnerability and the protective effects of sanitation and food markets in Nepal," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 63-75.
    7. Emmanuel Skoufias, 2012. "The Poverty and Welfare Impacts of Climate Change Quantifying the Effects, Identifying the Adaptation Strategies," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 9384, June.
    8. Wehby George L. & McCarthy Ann Marie & Castilla Eduardo & Murray Jeffrey C., 2011. "The Impact of Household Investments on Early Child Neurodevelopment and on Racial and Socioeconomic Developmental Gaps: Evidence from South America," Forum for Health Economics & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 14(2), pages 1-60, December.
    9. George Wehby & Juan Gili & Mariela Pawluk & Eduardo Castilla & Jorge López-Camelo, 2015. "Disparities in birth weight and gestational age by ethnic ancestry in South American countries," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 60(3), pages 343-351, March.

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