Objective: To compare perinatal and social factors in students admitted to The University of the West Indies (UWI), Kingston, Jamaica, at age 18 years with those in the rest of the Jamaican Perinatal Cohort.
Method: The Jamaican Perinatal Survey recorded demographic and perinatal details in 10 527 or 97% of births in Jamaica in September and October 1986. Eighteen years later, 140 of these were admitted to the UWI in Kingston, Jamaica. The perinatal features of these UWI students have been compared with the rest of the Perinatal Survey Cohort.
Results: Mothers of UWI students were older (p < 0.001), more likely to be married at the time of birth (p < 0.001), had earlier and more complete antenatal care (p < 0.05) and greater educational achievement at time of pregnancy (p < 0.001). These mothers of UWI students were also more likely to have diabetes (p < 0.01), operative deliveries (p < 0.01) and to attend private hospitals (p < 0.01). The UWI students had fewer siblings by their mothers (p < 0.05), were less likely to be low birthweight babies (p = 0.035) and more likely to be full term (37–42 weeks) than lower gestational age (p = 0.005). Differences in Apgar scores did not reach statistical significance.
Conclusions: The students of the University of the West Indies were more likely to come from smaller families with features indicative of a better quality of life. They were also of higher birthweight and tended to be full term. The lack of association of Apgar scores with educational attainment is note-worthy.