Laust H Mortensen is an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Copenhagen and is a visiting associate professor at Stanford University. His main interests are social and perinatal epidemiology, often combined.
He will be describing his latest work, "Socioeconomic position and social disadvantage in relation to induced abortion, spontaneous abortion, stillbirth, preterm birth and low birth weight in Denmark 2000-2009." In public health, socioeconomic inequalities in health are often thought of in terms of differences in health according to education or other markers of socioeconomic position. In the public and clinical discourse in Denmark, ‘socioeconomic’ is sometimes mixed or conflated with other less well-defined concepts like ‘social disadvantage’, which may be formulated as the idea that among those with short educations, there is a subset of individuals with a history of social events and/or other social characteristics that put them at high risk. However, it is unclear how to examine this at this with crude register data. As a test case, we explore the separate and combined relationship of education and a marker of early life social disadvantage (use of child protective services in the mother’s family of origin) to the woman’s pregnancy outcomes. The study is based on all recorded pregnancies in Denmark 2000-2009.