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Audrey Dorelien, University of Minnesota

The Effects of In Utero Exposure to Influenza on Birth and Infant Outcomes in the US
When Oct 01, 2018
from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM
Where 1101 Morrill Hall
Contact Name
Contact Phone 301-405-6403
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About the Presentation

I conduct the first study to use US-wide data to explore how influenza exposure affects fetal development. I regress individual-level birth outcomes on monthly county-level influenza mortality rates, controlling for an extensive set of county and time fixed effects. My approach isolates variation in influenza exposure arising from larger-than-average epidemics and minimizes confounding due to factors that vary by county, season, and year.

Exposure to severe influenza epidemics during critical gestation periods can increase neonatal and infant mortality rates by more than 45%, decrease birthweight by 44 grams, increase the probability of low birth weight by 15%, and increase the risk of preterm births by 16%. The first trimester is a critical period for mortality and preterm birth, while the third trimester is a critical period for preterm birth, gestational age, and birthweight. Differential exposure to influenza may be a driver of broader seasonal patterns in birth outcomes.

About the Speaker

Audrey Dorelien

Audrey Dorélien is an assistant professor at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and an affiliate of the Minnesota Population Center. Her research agenda strives to elucidate how human population dynamics and behavior intersect with environmental conditions to affect health. Her dissertation research documented human birth seasonality in sub-Saharan Africa, identifying the social and ecological drivers of birth seasonality and analyzing the impact of birth seasonality on infectious disease dynamics and optimal timing of pulse vaccination campaigns. Her current research focuses on the effects of early life exposures (i.e., disease/nutrition/climate) on health. Professor Dorélien has also conducted research on spatial demography/ urbanization with a focus on implications for health and climate change vulnerability. Her research has appeared in Population Development Review, Demographic Research, Biodemography and Social Biology, Population Health Metrics, and PLoS ONE.

Prior to joining the Humphrey School faculty she was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar at the University of Michigan’s Population Studies Center and Center for Social Epidemiology and Population Health. She earned her PhD in Public Policy from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs with a concentration in demography from the Office of Population Research.

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