Racial/Ethnic and Nativity Differences in Birth Outcomes Among Mothers in New York City: The Role of Social Ties and Social Support
ABSTRACT Immigrants have lower rates of low birth weight (LBW) and to some extent preterm birth (PTB), than their US-born counterparts. This pattern has been termed the 'immigrant health paradox'. Social ties and support are one proposed explanation for this phenomenon. We examined the contribution of social ties and social support to LBW and PTB by race/ethnicity and nativity among women in New York City (NYC). The NYC Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System survey (2004-2007) data, linked with the selected items from birth certificates, were used to examine LBW and PTB by race/ethnicity and nativity status and the role of social ties and social support to adverse birth outcomes using bivariate and multivariable analyses. SUDAAN software was used to adjust for complex survey design and sampling weights. US- and foreign-born Blacks had significantly increased odds of PTB [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 2.43, 95 % CI 1.56, 3.77 and AOR = 2.6, 95 % CI 1.66, 4.24, respectively] compared to US-born Whites. Odds of PTB among foreign-born Other Latinas, Island-born Puerto Ricans' and foreign-born Asians' were not significantly different from US-born Whites, while odds of PTB for foreign-born Whites were significantly lower (AOR = 0.47, 95 % CI 0.26, 0.84). US and foreign-born Blacks' odds of LBW were 2.5 fold that of US-born Whites. Fewer social ties were associated with 32-39 % lower odds of PTB. Lower social support was associated with decreased odds of LBW (AOR 0.69, 95 % CI 0.50, 0.96). We found stronger evidence of the immigrant health paradox across racial/ethnic groups for PTB than for LBW. Results also point to the importance of accurately assessing social ties and social support during pregnancy and to considering the potential downside of social ties.
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ABSTRACT: To provide an integrated review of the literature of potential explanations for better than expected pregnancy outcomes in Mexican immigrants, focusing on socioeconomics, social support, desirability of pregnancy, nutrition, substance use, religion, acculturation, and prenatal care. Computerized searches of MEDLINE and CINAHL databases, as well as reference lists from published articles on low birth weight and prematurity in immigrants and acculturation in immigrants from January 1989 to December 2002. Search terms were Mexican immigrant women, childbearing, and pregnancy outcome, and only English-language articles were reviewed. Literature was selected from refereed publications in the areas of nursing, medicine, public health, family, and sociology. Data were extracted using keywords pertinent to pregnancy outcome in Mexican immigrants. Despite having many of the risk factors for poor pregnancy outcomes, Mexican immigrants have superior birth outcomes when compared to U.S.-born women. Social support, familism, healthy diet, limited use of cigarettes and alcohol, and religion may play a role in improved outcomes. The superior outcomes diminish with the process of acculturation as the individual adapts to her new culture. Low birth weight and prematurity are public health concerns in the United States. Through further study of the factors that lead to superior birth outcomes among Mexican immigrant women, rates of low birth weight and prematurity in the United States may be reduced.Journal of Obstetric Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing 11/2004; 33(6):783-90. DOI:10.1177/0884217504270595 · 1.20 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Differences in maternal characteristics only partially explain the lower birth weights of infants of African-American women. It is hypothesized that economic and social features of urban neighborhoods may further account for these differences. The authors conducted a household survey of 8,782 adults residing in 343 Chicago, Illinois, neighborhoods to assess mean levels of perceived social support and used US Census data to estimate neighborhood economic disadvantage. Data on birth weight and maternal risk factors were gathered from 95,711 birth certificates (1994-1996). Before statistical adjustment of the data, infants born to African-American mothers were found to be, on average, 297 g lighter than those born to White mothers. After adjustment for individual-level risk factors, this difference was reduced to 154 g. For African-American mothers only, mean birth weight decreased significantly as the neighborhood level of economic disadvantage increased. For White mothers only, a significant positive association was found between perceived levels of neighborhood social support and infant birth weight. Adding these neighborhood-level predictors to the model reduced the adjusted White versus African-American difference in birth weight to 124 g. Results support the hypothesis that neighborhood-level factors are significantly associated with infant birth weight.American Journal of Epidemiology 02/2003; 157(1):1-8. DOI:10.1093/aje/kwf170 · 4.98 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Rates of low-birth-weight (LBW) infants are similar between Latina and white women, an epidemiologic paradox. However, few studies have analyzed the relationship between ethnicity, Latino subgroup, confounding variables, and LBW. We analyzed 395070 singleton livebirths to Latina and non-Latina white women in California during 1992. Multivariate logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the risks due to Latino ethnicity and Latino subgroup for very LBW (VLBW, 500-1499 g) and moderately LBW (MLBW, 1500-2499 g) outcomes. Latina and white women had similar unadjusted rates of VLBW (0.7% vs. 0.6%) and MLBW infants (3.7% vs. 3.4%). After adjusting for maternal age, education, birthplace, marital status, parity, tobacco use, use of prenatal care, infant sex, and gestational age, there was no difference in the odds of VLBW infants between Latina and white women (OR, 0.93 [95% CI, 0.81-1.071). Latina women had minimally elevated odds of MLBW infants (OR, 1.06 [95% CI, 1.01-1.11]) compared with white women. By Latino subgroup, there was no difference in the adjusted odds of VLBW infants among Central and South American, Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, and white women. The adjusted odds of MLBW infants were elevated among Central and South American (OR, 1.14 [95% CI, 1.05-1.25]) and Puerto Rican women (OR, 1.41 [95% CI, 1.12-1.78]), relative to white women. The epidemiologic paradox of LBW in Latinos is valid. New conceptual models are needed to identify Latina women who are at risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes.Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine 03/1999; 153(2):147-53. DOI:10.1001/archpedi.153.2.147 · 4.25 Impact Factor