Concept: Infant Health Measures and Health at Birth

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Concept Description

Last Updated: 2015-03-11

    The health of an infant at birth is typically assessed by medical professionals immediately following delivery. These measures of infant health provide researchers with the ability to compare newborn health with a variety of educational, social, and health data. Researchers have measured this concept in more than one way, occasionally using different terminology to describe information that was gathered in a similar manner.
Terminology and Definitions in Research using MCHP Data
    The terms "infant health measures" and "health at birth" have been used interchangeably in research using MCHP data.
Oreopoulos et al. (2008)
Currie et al (2010)
    Currie et al (2010) utilized hospital measures to quantify health at birth. In the article, "health at birth" is operationalized as a combination of:

    • Birth weight;
    • Congenital anomalies deemed "major" health conditions in the Aggregated Diagnosis Group (ADG) system.; and
    • Perinatal problems (meaning, problems from 0-22 weeks after birth) deemed "major" health conditions in the ADG system.

    For more information on congenital anomalies and perinatal problems defined with ADGs, see:

    • the section titled ADGs in Pediatric Age Group in the Adjusted Clinical Groups® (ACG®) - Overview concept; and
    • Appendix Table 4 in the Currie et al. (2010) article that lists the top 10 ICD-9 codes of congenital conditions for children in four distinct age ranges. NOTE: access to this article / appendix requires a subscription to the on-line Journal of Human Resources.
Roos et al. (2011)
    Roos et al. (2011) explored the same measures of health as Oreopoulous et al. (2008), but instead used the term "Infant Health Measures." Similarly, this consisted of:

    • Birth weight;
    • Five-minute Apgar score; and
    • Gestational length in weeks.
Terminology and Definitions Used in MCHP Research

Related concepts 

Related terms 


  • Currie J, Stabile M, Manivong P, Roos LL. Child health and young adult outcomes. Journal of Human Resources 2010;45(3):517-548. [Abstract] (View)
  • Oreopoulos P, Stabile M, Walld R, Roos LL. Short, medium, and long term consequences of poor infant health: An analysis using siblings and twins. J Hum Resour 2008;43(1):88-138. [Abstract] (View)
  • Roos LL, Hiebert B, Manivong P, Edgerton J, Walld R, MacWilliam L, de Rocquigny J. What is most important: Social factors, health selection, and adolescent educational achievement. Social Indicators Research 2013;110(1):385-414. [Abstract] (View)