A Comparison of Birth Outcomes Among US-Born and non–US-Born Hispanic Women in North Carolina
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Objective: To compare birth outcomes between non–US-born and US-born Hispanic women in North Carolina (NC). Methods: A retrospective comparison of birth outcomes from linked NC birth/death certificate data (1993–1997) for 22,234 Hispanic births by mother's place of birth was conducted. Results: Mexico-born Hispanic women (58%) had significantly fewer medical risks, tobacco or alcohol use during pregnancy; however, they also had significantly less education and prenatal care than US-born Hispanic women (21%). Infant mortality rate, low birth weight, and prematurity were low and did not differ significantly. Lethal anomalies were the primary cause of infant mortality in non–US-born Hispanics versus Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in US-born Hispanics. Conclusions: Despite increased risk factors among US-born women, we found no difference in Hispanic birth outcomes in NC by mother's place of birth. These data contradict national data and may be related to findings of both positive and negative aspects of acculturation in NC.
KEY WORDS:birth outcomes Hispanic ethnicity birth certificates NC vital statistics
This project was supported, in part, by the UNC/AHEC Reproductive Health Research Network. We would like to thank Dr. Paul Buescher and Ms. Katrina Baggett of the State Center for Health Statistics for compiling the combined birth and infant death certificate data, and Dr. Hytham M. Imseis for his assistance with manuscript revisions.
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