David A. Savitz

Professor of Epidemiology and Obstetrics & Gynecology


David Savitz received his PhD in Epidemiology in 1982 from the University of Pittsburgh. He joined the Public Health Department and PSTC at Brown in 2010, after previously serving at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Savitz has served frequently as a panel and committee member for the National Academy of Sciences on issues related to environmental studies, toxicology, and causes and consequences of preterm birth, as well as an expert witness to the U.S. House of Representatives and other governmental agencies. He has served as an editor of Epidemiology, American Journal of Epidemiology, and Annual Reviews in Public Health.

Throughout his research career, Savitz has sought to clarify two of the more pressing questions in public health: identifying the health risks from environmental exposures, and identifying the causes of problems associated with pregnancy and fertility. With research interests that include a range of topics in perinatal and pediatric health, cancer, and the environment, he has focused on environmental influences on miscarriage; caffeine and pregnancy outcome; environmental influences on cancer in children and adults; links between pesticide exposure and breast cancer; and the effect of drinking water DBPs on fetal survival. Savitz is currently working on an NIH-supported project on the epidemiology of hospitalized postpartum depression, analyzing data that covers all hospitalizations in the state of New York. In this project he will address demographic, social and medical predictors of postpartum depression, and evaluate the relationship with infant health measures and pregnancy complications.

Selected Publications

Topics in Environmental Epidemiology. (with K. Steenland). Oxford University Press, 1997.

“Maternal Stress and Preterm Birth”. (with N. Dole, I. Hertz-Picciotto, A.M. Siega-Riz, M.J. McMahon and P. Buekens). American Journal of Epidemiology, 157(1): 14, 2003.

“Poverty, Education, Race, and Pregnancy Outcome”. (with J.S. Kaufman, N. Dole, A.M. Siega-Riz, J.M. Thorp and D.T. Kaczor). Ethnicity & Disease, 14(3): 322-329, 2004.

“A Quantitative Risk-Benefit Analysis of Changes in Population Fish Consumption”. (with J.T. Cohen, D.C. Bellinger, W.E. Connor, P.M. Kris-Etherton, R.S. Lawrence, et al). American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 29(4): 325, 2005.

“Urbanization and Breast Cancer Incidence in North Carolina, 1995-1999”. (with S.A. Hall, J.S. Kaufman, R.C. Millikan, T.C. Ricketts, and D. Herman). Annals of Epidemiology, 15(10): 796-803, 2005.

“Comparison of Residential Geocoding Methods in Population-Based Study of Air Quality and Birth Defects”. (with S.M. Gilboa, P. Mendola, A.F. Olshan, C. Harness, D. Loomis, et al). Environmental Research, 101(2): 256-262, 2006.

“Pesticide Exposure and Timing of Menopause”. (with S.L. Farr, J. Cai, D.P. Sandler, J.A. Hoppin and G.S. Cooper). American Journal of Epidemiology, 163(8): 731, 2006.

“Ethnicity and Gestational Diabetes in New York City, 1995-2003”. (with T.M. Janevic, S.M. Engel, J.S. Kaufman and A.H. Herring). BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 115(8): 969-978, 2008.

“Maternal Ethnic Ancestry and Adverse Perinatal Outcomes in New York City”. (with C.R. Stein, T. Janevic, C.V. Ananth, J.S. Kaufman, et al). American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 201(6): 584, 2009. PMC2789914

“Maternal Smoking, Preeclampsia, and Infant Health Outcomes in New York City, 1995-2003”. (with S.M. Engel, T.M. Janevic, and C.R. Stein). American Journal of Epidemiology, 169(1): 33, 2009. PMC2720705

“The Risk for Impaired Learning-Related Abilities in Childhood and Educational Attainment among Adults Born Near-Term”. (with Y. Nomura, J.M. Halperin, J.H. Newcorn, C. Davey, W.P. Fifer, et al). Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 34(4): 406-418, 2009. PMID18794190, PMC2722131

“Stress Questionnaires and Stress Biomarkers during Pregnancy”. (with E.W. Harville, N. Dole, A.H. Herring and J.M. Thorp). Journal of Women's Health, 18(9): 1425-1433, 2009. PMC2825685

“Behavioral Influences on Preterm Birth: A Review.” (with P. Murnane). Epidemiology, 21(3): 291, 2010.

“Ethnic Density and Preterm Birth in African-, Caribbean-, and US-Born Non-Hispanic Black Populations in New York City”. (with S.M. Mason, J.S. Kaufman, M.E. Emch, and V.K. Hogan). American Journal of Epidemiology, 172(7): 800-808, 2010.

“Neighbourhood Food Environment and Gestational Diabetes in New York City”. (with T. Janevic, L.N. Borrell, A.H. Herring and A. Rundle). Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology, 24(3): 249-254, 2010.



Environmental influence on cancer, Fertility, Health risks from environmental exposures, Pregnancy