Objective: To compare perinatal risks and outcomes in foreign- and U.S.-born Asian-Indian and Mexican women.
Study design: We evaluated 6.4 million U.S. vital records for births during 1995-2000 to white, foreign- and U.S.-born Asian-Indian and Mexican women. Risks and outcomes were compared by use of chi2 and logistic regression.
Results: With the exception of increased teen pregnancy and tobacco use, the favorable sociodemographic profile and increased rate of adverse outcomes seen in foreign-born Asian Indians persisted in their U.S.-born counterparts. In contrast, foreign-born Mexicans had an adverse sociodemographic profile but a low incidence of low birth weight (LBW), whereas U.S.-born Mexicans had an improved sociodemographic profile and increased LBW, prematurity and neonatal death.
Conclusions: Perinatal outcomes deteriorate in U.S.-born Mexican women. In contrast, the paradoxically increased incidence of LBW persists in U.S.-born Asian-Indian women. Further research is needed to identify the social and biologic determinants of perinatal outcome.