Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 11, Issue 6, pp 622–627

Lower Rates of Preterm Birth in Women of Arab Ancestry: An Epidemiologic Paradox—Michigan, 1993–2002

  • Darline K. El Reda
  • Violanda Grigorescu
  • Samuel F. Posner
  • Amanda Davis-Harrier
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10995-007-0199-y

Cite this article as:
El Reda, D.K., Grigorescu, V., Posner, S.F. et al. Matern Child Health J (2007) 11: 622. doi:10.1007/s10995-007-0199-y

Abstract

Objective: Preterm birth (PTB), <37 weeks gestation, occurs in 12.1% of live births annually and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality in the United States. Racial/ethnic subgroups are disproportionately affected by PTB. Michigan is home to one of the largest Arab-American communities in the country; however, little is known about PTB in this population. This study examined the maternal demographic profile and risk factors of preterm birth (PTB) among foreign-born and US-born women of Arab ancestry relative to US-born Whites in Michigan.

Methods: Using Michigan Vital Statistics data, we examined correlates of PTB for primiparous U.S.-born white (n = 205,749), U.S.-born Arab (n=1,697), and foreign-born Arab (n=5,997) women who had had a live-born singleton infant during 1993–2002. We examined variables commonly reported to be associated with PTB, including mother's age and education; insurance type; marital status of parents; receipt of prenatal care; mother's chronic hypertension, diabetes, and tobacco use; and infant sex.

Results: Foreign-born Arabs are less educated and more likely to be on Medicaid, and they receive less prenatal care than US-born Whites. Prevalence of PTB was 8.5, 8.0, and 7.5% for US-born Whites, US-born Arabs, and foreign-born Arabs, respectively. Pregnancy-related hypertension was the only predictor of PTB that these three groups had in common: Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR)=2.1 (95% Confidence Interval (CI)=1.99, 2.21), AOR=2.6 (95% CI=1.24, 5.51), and AOR=2.6 (95% CI=1.55, 4.31) for US-born whites, US-born Arabs, and foreign-born Arabs, respectively.

Conclusions: Foreign-born Arab women in Michigan have a higher-risk maternal demographic profile than that of their US-born white counterparts; however, their prevalence of PTB is lower, which is consistent with the epidemiologic paradox reported among foreign-born Hispanic women.

Keywords

Preterm Birth outcomes Ancestry Arab 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Darline K. El Reda
    • 1
    • 2
  • Violanda Grigorescu
    • 2
    • 3
  • Samuel F. Posner
    • 3
  • Amanda Davis-Harrier
    • 4
  1. 1.Epidemic Intelligence Service, Office of Workforce and Career DevelopmentCenters for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaGeorgia
  2. 2.Division of Genomics, Perinatal Health, and Chronic Disease EpidemiologyMichigan Department of Community HealthLansingUSA
  3. 3.Division of Reproductive HealthCenters for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Highway MS K-20AtlantaUSA
  4. 4.Michigan Public Health InstituteLansingUSA

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