Council tax valuation band predicts breast feeding and socio-economic status in the ALSPAC study populationReport as inadecuate

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BMC Public Health

, 6:5

First Online: 11 January 2006Received: 02 August 2005Accepted: 11 January 2006DOI: 10.1186-1471-2458-6-5

Cite this article as: Beale, N., Kane, G., Gwynne, M. et al. BMC Public Health 2006 6: 5. doi:10.1186-1471-2458-6-5


BackgroundBreast-feeding rates in the UK are known to vary by maternal socio-economic status but the latter function is imperfectly defined. We test if CTVB Council Tax Valuation Band – a categorical assessment of UK property values and amenities governing local tax levies of maternal address predicts, in a large UK regional sample of births, a breast-feeding b personal and socio-economic attributes of the mothers.

MethodsRetrospective study of a subset n.1390 selected at random of the ALSPAC sample Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, a large, geographically defined cohort of mothers followed from early pregnancy to 8 weeks post-delivery. Outcome measures are attitudes to breast-feeding prior to delivery, breast-feeding intention and uptake, demographic and socio-economic attributes of the mothers, CTVB of maternal home address at the time of each birth. Logistic regression analysis, categorical tests.

ResultsStudy sample: 1360 women divided across the CTVBs – at least 155 in any band or band aggregation. CTVB predicted only one belief or attitude – that bottle-feeding was more convenient for the mother. However only 31% of -CTVB A infants- are fully breast fed at 4 weeks of life whereas for -CTVB E+ infants- the rate is 57%. CTVB is also strongly associated with maternal social class, home conditions, parental educational attainment, family income and smoking habit.

ConclusionCTVB predicts breast-feeding rates and links them with social circumstances. CTVB could be used as the basis for accurate resource allocation for community paediatric services: UK breast-feeding rates are low and merit targeted promotion.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2458-6-5 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Norman Beale - Gill Kane - Mark Gwynne - Carole Peart - Gordon Taylor - David Herrick - Andy Boyd - ALSPAC Study Team


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