May 3, 1998
Analysis of data on infant fatal brain injuries by researchers at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, N.H., suggests that the socioeconomic status of the infant’s family may be a factor on how frequently these injuries are linked to child abuse. Researchers studied data on 1,404 infants who died in 1989-91 due to injury of the head or brain. They found that infants of more educated, married, and/or Caucasian mothers were less likely to have their injuries ascribed to child abuse, compared with infants of less educated, unmarried, and/or African-American mothers. There was also a slightly greater tendency to acribe to abuse injuries to girls and babies with normal (as opposed to low) birthweights. The study was presented at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies in New Orleans, May 1-5. For interviews during the meeting, contact the press room at (504) 670-8502 or 670-8508. Researchers’ Institutional Contact: Laurie Storey-Manseau (603) 650-7041
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