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Risk of Low Birthweight and Prematurity Among Foreign-born Mothers

Huguette Doucet, Mona Baumgarten and Claire Infante-Rivard
Canadian Journal of Public Health / Revue Canadienne de Santé Publique
Vol. 83, No. 3 (MAY / JUNE 1992), pp. 192-195
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41991444
Page Count: 4
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Abstract

Data collected during postnatal visits were used to study the risk of low birthweight (LBW) and prematurity among foreign-born mothers and mothers born in Canada. 2,913 singleton live births were included in the analysis. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for LBW and prematurity were estimated using a logistic regression model. Foreign-born mothers did not have a higher risk of LBW or prematurity as compared to native-born mothers (OR=1.1, 95% CI= 0.8-1.5; OR=1.0, 95% CI=0.7-1.4, respectively). For both LBW and prematurity, women in the intermediate category of length of stay (1-3 years) had a somewhat lower risk and women with the shortest length of stay (less than one year) had a slightly higher risk than women with the longest length of stay (more than 3 years). However, none of these results was statistically significant. Results of this study suggest that foreign-born mothers do not have a higher risk than Canadian-born mothers of bearing a LBW or premature infant. This finding differs from the widespread perception that immigrant mothers are at high risk for adverse birth outcomes. A partir des données recueillies lors des visites postnatales à domicile, les risques d'insuffisance de poids à la naissance et de prématurité chez les femmes nées hors Canada ont été étudiés comparativement aux femmes nées au Canada. L'analyse porte sur 2,913 naissances vivantes, simples. Les risques ont été estimés à l'aide d'un modèle de régression logistique. Les femmes immigrantes n'avaient pas un risque plus grand de donner naissance à un enfant de poids insuffisant ou à un enfant prématuré comparativement aux femmes nées au Canada. Parmi les femmes immigrantes, ces risques étaient un peu moins élevés dans la catégorie de séjour intermédiaire (un à trois ans) et ils étaient un peu plus élevés dans la catégorie de séjour le plus court (moins d'un an) comparativement à la catégorie de séjour le plus long (plus de trois ans). Ces résultats n'étaient cependant pas statistiquement significatifs. Cette étude suggère que les femmes immigrantes ne sont pas plus à risque d'insuffisance de poids à la naissance ou de prématurité comparativement aux femmes nées au Canada. Ceci diffère de l'idée fort répandue que les femmes immigrantes sont plus à risque.

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