Termination of pregnancy according to immigration status: a population-based registry linkage study

BJOG. 2008 Sep;115(10):1309-15. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2008.01832.x.


Objective: Frequency of termination of pregnancy (TOP) and associated risk factors according to immigration status were studied.

Design: Population-based registry study linking hospital data with information from the Central Population Registry of Norway.

Setting: Oslo, Norway.

Population: All women 15-49 years undergoing TOP and resident in Oslo, Norway from 1 January 2000 to 31 July 2003.

Methods: TOP rates per 1000 women/year were calculated. The association of socio-economic variables such as maternal age, marital status, number of children and education level within the study groups were estimated as odds ratios and using logistic regression.

Main outcome measure: Termination of pregnancy.

Results: Refugees (30.2, 95% CI = 28.5-31.8) and labour migrants (19.9, 95% CI = 18.7-21.3) had significantly higher TOP rates than nonmigrants (16.7, 95% CI = 16.3-17.1). Except in women less than 25 years, labour migrants had higher TOP rates than nonmigrants. Refugees had the highest rates in all age groups. Being unmarried was associated with a substantially increased risk of TOP among the nonmigrants; such effect was not observed among labour migrants and refugees. Two or more children were associated with increased risk among nonmigrants and refugees compared with four or more among the labour migrants. Generally, higher education showed a protective effect that was most pronounced among nonmigrants. Compared with nonmigrants, adjusted risk of TOP was 1.37 (95% CI = 1.25-1.50) for labour migrants and 1.94 (95% CI = 1.79-2.11) for refugees.

Conclusion: Public health efforts to increase the use of contraceptives among refugees and labour migrants above 25 years should be encouraged.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Contraceptive Agents
  • Educational Status
  • Emigration and Immigration / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Female / etiology
  • Marital Status
  • Maternal Age
  • Middle Aged
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Parity
  • Pregnancy


  • Contraceptive Agents