Racial/Ethnic and Nativity Differences in Birth Outcomes Among Mothers in New York City: The Role of Social Ties and Social Support

ArticleinMaternal and Child Health Journal 18(1) · February 2013with28 Reads
DOI: 10.1007/s10995-013-1238-5 · Source: PubMed
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.
    • They also receive less medical attention and have specific social disadvantages compared with native women. These situations can increase the risk for adverse birth outcomes [6, 12, 13]. In this study, a similar pattern was Author's personal copy evident with regard to characteristics such as education and employment (in which immigrants showed lower rates of higher education and professional jobs, where as a higher percentage of Spanish women had white-collar jobs).
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Birth weight is a high impact factor in populations with high rates of immigration. This study establishes differences in birth weight (BW) and related factors among full-term newborn (NB) infants born to native and immigrant women living in Spain during 2007-2008. All NBs from Spanish mothers and mothers from the five nationalities with the highest birth rates in Spain (Morocco, Romania, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Colombia) according to the Statistical Bulletin of Births in Spain were included. BW was classified as low BW (LBW; <2,500 g), underweight (UW; 2,500-2,999 g), adequate weight (3,000-3,999 g), and macrosomia (≥4,000 g). The characteristics associated with a higher likelihood of LBW were Spanish mother, lower training level (OR = 1.3), more children (OR = 1.8), age ≤19 years (OR = 1.2) or ≥40 years (OR = 1.3), and female NB. The probability of macrosomia was higher in Bolivian mothers (OR = 3.0) with more children (OR = 1.7) and male NBs (OR = 2.0). The NBs of Spanish mothers have a higher likelihood of LBW and the lowest odds for macrosomía compared with immigrants from the other countries.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Additional social support is often recommended for women during the prenatal period to optimise birth outcomes, specifically to avoid preterm birth. Social support is thought to act in one of two ways: by reducing stress and anxiety, or by providing coping mechanisms for women with high stress. However, evidence in this area is mixed. The purpose of this meta-analysis is to determine if low levels of social support are associated with an increased risk for preterm birth. Six databases were searched for randomised control trials and cohort studies regarding social support and preterm birth with no limits set on date or language. Inclusion criteria included the use of a validated instrument to measure social support, and studies conducted in high-income or high-middle-income countries. There were 3467 records retrieved, 16 of which met the inclusion criteria. Eight studies (n = 14 630 subjects) demonstrated a pooled odds ratio (OR) of 1.22 (95% CI 0.84, 1.76) for preterm birth in women with low social support compared with high social support. Among women with high stress levels, two studies (n = 6374 subjects) yielded a pooled OR of 1.52 (95% CI 1.18, 1.97). The results of six studies could not be pooled due to incompatibility of outcome measures. There is no evidence for a direct association between social support and preterm birth. Social support, however, may provide a buffering mechanism between stress and preterm birth. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction Latinas in the United States on average have poorer birth outcomes than Whites, yet considerable heterogeneity exists within Latinas. Puerto Ricans have some of the highest rates of adverse outcomes and are understudied. The goal of this study was to determine if acculturation was associated with adverse birth outcomes in a predominantly Puerto Rican population. Methods We conducted a secondary analysis of Proyecto Buena Salud, a prospective cohort study conducted from 2006 to 2011. A convenience sample of pregnant Latina women were recruited from a tertiary care hospital in Massachusetts. Acculturation was measured in early pregnancy; directly via the Psychological Acculturation Scale, and via proxies of language preference and generation in the United States. Birth outcomes (gestational age and birthweight) were abstracted from medical records (n = 1362). Results After adjustment, psychological acculturation, language preference, and generation was not associated with odds of preterm birth. However, every unit increase in psychological acculturation score was associated with an increase in gestational age of 0.22 weeks (SE = 0.1, p = 0.04) among all births. Women who preferred to speak Spanish (β = -0.39, SE = 0.2, p = 0.02) and who were first generation in the US (β = -0.33, SE = 0.1, p = 0.02) had significantly lower gestational ages than women who preferred English or who were later generation, respectively. Similarly, women who were first generation had babies who weighed 76.11 g less (SE = 35.2, p = 0.03) than women who were later generation. Discussion We observed a small, but statistically significant adverse impact of low acculturation on gestational age and birthweight in this predominantly Puerto Rican population.
    Article · Dec 2015
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives To investigate Latina-White differences in birth outcomes in California from 2003 to 2010, looking for evidence of the often-cited "Latina paradox" and assessing the possible role of socioeconomic factors in observed differences. Methods Using statewide-representative data from the California Maternal and Infant Health Assessment, an annual population-based postpartum survey, we compared rates of preterm birth (PTB) and low birth weight (LBW) in five groups: U.S.-born non-Latina Whites ("Whites"), U.S.-born Mexican-Americans, U.S.-born non-Mexican Latinas, Mexican immigrants, and non-Mexican Latina immigrants. Logistic regression models examined the relative likelihood of PTB and LBW for women in each Latina subgroup compared with Whites, before and after adjustment for socioeconomic and other covariates. Results In unadjusted analyses, women in each Latina subgroup appeared more likely than White women to have PTB and LBW, although the increased likelihood of LBW among Mexican immigrants was statistically non-significant. After adjustment for less favorable socioeconomic characteristics among Latinas compared with Whites, observed differences in the estimated likelihoods of PTB or LBW for Latina subgroups relative to Whites were attenuated and (with the exception of PTB among U.S.-born Mexican Americans) no longer statistically significant. Conclusions We found no evidence of a "Latina paradox" in birth outcomes, which some have cited as evidence that social disadvantage is not always health-damaging. As observed in several previous studies, our findings were non-paradoxical: consistent with their socioeconomic disadvantage, Latinas had worse birth outcomes than non-Latina White women. Policy-makers should not rely on a "Latina paradox" to ensure good birth outcomes among socioeconomically disadvantaged Latina women.
    Article · Mar 2016
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: To assess the influence of I mmigration on the psychological health of women after childbirth. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, immigrant and Portuguese-native women delivering in the four public hospitals of the metropolitan area of Porto, Portugal, were contacted by telephone between February and December 2012 during the first postpartum month to schedule a home visit and fill in a questionnaire. Most immigrant (76.1%) and Portuguese mothers (80.0%) agreed to participate and with the visits, thus a total of 89 immigrants and 188 Portuguese women were included in the study. The questionnaire included the application of four validated scales: Mental Health Inventory-5, Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale, Perceived Stress Scale, and Scale of Satisfaction with Social Support. Statistical analysis included t-test and Chi-square or Fisher's test, and logistic regression models. Results: Immigrants had an increased risk of postpartum depression (OR = 6.444, 95%CI 1.858-22.344), and of low satisfaction with social support (OR = 6.118, 95%CI 1.991-18.798). We did not perceive any associations between migrant state, perceived stress, and impoverished mental health. Conclusions: Immigrant mothers have increased vulnerabilities in the postpartum period, resulting in an increased risk of postpartum depression and lesser satisfaction with the received social support.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2016
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction While disparities in low birth weight (LBW) incidence by racial/ethnic group are well known, differences in LBW incidence by maternal birthplace within racial/ethnic groups, and particularly, differences after adjustment for pregnancy complications, are less clear. Methods We conducted a population-based study of LBW using 113,760 singleton, live birth records from King County, Washington (2008–2012), a region in the Pacific Northwest with a large immigrant population. Study participants were Asian, non-Hispanic black, Hispanic, Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander (NHOPI), and non-Hispanic white women. Using multivariable logistic regression models, we calculated odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) to estimate relative risk of LBW (<2500 g) related to maternal race/ethnicity and birthplace (defined by the Millennium Development Goals Regional Groupings). Results Compared with non-Hispanic white women, non-Hispanic black, Asian Indian, Filipino, Japanese, and Vietnamese women had 1.57–2.23-fold higher, statistically significant, risk of having a LBW infant, and NHOPI and Mexican women had 1.30–1.33-fold, statistically significant, higher risk. LBW risk was lower for Asian women from Eastern Asia (OR 0.68, 95% CI 0.55–0.85), non-Hispanic black women from Sub-Saharan Africa (OR 0.58, 95% CI 0.47–0.73), and non-Hispanic white women from other developed countries (OR 0.83, 95% CI 0.69–1.00), as compared with their US-born racial/ethnic counterparts. Results were, in general, similar after adjustment for pregnancy complications. Conclusions Compared with most other racial/ethnic groups, non-Hispanic whites had lower risk of LBW. Foreign-born women had lower risk of LBW compared with their US-born counterparts in the majority of racial/ethnic groups. Pregnancy complications had minimal effect on the associations.
    Article · Jan 2017