Hurricane Michael and Adverse Birth Outcomes in the Florida Panhandle: Analysis of Vital Statistics Data

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness

Publication Date


Date Added



Abstract Objective: The aim of this study was to examine birth outcomes in areas affected by Hurricane Michael. Methods: Vital statistics data of 2017–2019 were obtained from the state of Florida. Births occurring in the year before and after the date of Hurricane Michael (October 7, 2018) were used. Florida counties were divided into 3 categories reflecting extent of impact from Hurricane Michael. Birth outcomes including incidence of preterm birth (PTB), low birth weight (LBW), and small for gestational age (SGA) were also compared before and after Hurricane Michael. Spontaneous and indicated PTBs were distinguished based on previously published algorithms. Multiple regression was used to control for potential confounders. Results: Both LBW (aRR 1.19, 95% CI: 1.07, 1.32) and SGA (aRR 1.11, 95% CI: 1.01, 1.21) were higher in the year after Michael than the year before in the most-affected area; a similar effect was not seen in other areas. A stronger effect was seen for exposure in the first trimester or in the 2 months after Michael than in the second or third trimester. Conclusion: Consistent with many previous studies, this study of Hurricane Michael found an effect on fetal growth.







Comments/Extra Notes

Additional authors: Gonsoroski, Elaina; Uejio, Christopher; Lichtveld, Maureen Y.