Sociocultural factors that affect pregnancy outcomes in two dissimilar immigrant groups in the United States

J Pediatr. 2006 Mar;148(3):341-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2005.11.028.


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.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Asia / ethnology
  • Educational Status
  • Emigration and Immigration*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Hypertension, Pregnancy-Induced / epidemiology
  • Infant Mortality
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Logistic Models
  • Maternal Age
  • Mexico / ethnology
  • Placenta Previa / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence
  • Prenatal Care
  • Racial Groups*
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking / ethnology
  • United States / epidemiology