High birthweights among infants of north African immigrants in Belgium

Am J Public Health. 1998 May;88(5):808-11. doi: 10.2105/ajph.88.5.808.


Objectives: This study examined birthweights of North African immigrants in Belgium.

Methods: Analyses focused on Belgian single live birth certificates from 1981 to 1988.

Results: Low-birthweight (< 2500 g) rates were 3.1% among 34,686 newborns of North African origin and 4.8% among 804,286 newborns of Belgian origin. The entire North African birthweight distribution was shifted toward higher birthweights than the Belgian distribution. Low frequencies of low birthweights among North Africans were still observed after marital status, occupation of the father, and parity had been taken into account.

Conclusions: Despite their low socioeconomic status, North African immigrants have high birthweights.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Africa, Northern / ethnology
  • Belgium
  • Birth Weight*
  • Emigration and Immigration
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant Mortality
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Marital Status
  • Parity
  • Social Class