Objectives: We examined the pregnancy outcomes of three ethnic groups: African-American Blacks, non-Hispanic Whites, and Filipinos. In an attempt to reduce ethnic dissimilarities in parental employment and access to health care, this investigation compared the single-live-birth outcomes of married, adult women who resided in the state of Hawaii and who indicated that their spouse was on active-duty status in the US military.
Methods: The data for this study were obtained from the 1979-1989 Hawaii vital-record file that provides linked live birth-infant death information. Multiple logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios for the independent effects of maternal factors on low birthweight and neonatal mortality.
Results: Significant differences in maternal age, maternal education, paternal education, parity, hospital of delivery, and use of prenatal care were observed among the ethnic groups. The results of a logistic regression analysis of low birthweight indicated significantly higher risks for Filipinos and Blacks compared with Whites. For very low birthweight, only an increased risk for Blacks was observed. No ethnic differences in neonatal mortality were found.
Conclusions: This investigation revealed more comparable infant mortality experiences among the ethnic groups in spite of persistent birthweight differences.