Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 342–356

Reproductive Health of the Rapidly Growing Hispanic Population: Data from the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System, 2002

  • Jill A. McDonald
  • Katherine Suellentrop
  • Leonard J. Paulozzi
  • Brian Morrow

DOI: 10.1007/s10995-007-0244-x

Cite this article as:
McDonald, J.A., Suellentrop, K., Paulozzi, L.J. et al. Matern Child Health J (2008) 12: 342. doi:10.1007/s10995-007-0244-x



One in five US babies are Hispanic, and many Hispanics are recent immigrants. This study’s goal is to compare reproductive health characteristics between Hispanic and non-Hispanic White (NHW) mothers and to determine whether those characteristics differ by Hispanic birth increases.


State-based Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System 2002 data were used to compare Hispanic and NHW mothers of live-born infants overall and in tertiles of states with the highest and lowest Hispanic birth increases during 1998–2002. We calculated crude and adjusted risk ratios (RR) for each characteristic for Hispanics (N = 5,104) relative to NHWs (N = 22,608) and conducted t-tests to compare the RRs in high and low tertile groups.


Hispanic mothers are younger, of lower socioeconomic status, and less likely to receive early prenatal care. They smoke and drink less, breastfeed their infants more often, and report less preterm labor and hypertension during pregnancy, but may be at greater risk of gestational diabetes. When compared to states with smallest birth increases, Hispanics in states with the largest increases are more likely than NHWs to report healthy behavior, e.g., continued breastfeeding and normal BMI. However, they are more likely to report late prenatal care, hospitalization during pregnancy, and low socioeconomic status. A lower risk of hypertension is reported only by Hispanics in states with small birth increases.


Reproductive health characteristics among Hispanic and NHW women differ, but Hispanic women more closely resemble NHW women in states with small increases in Hispanic births. Percent increase in Hispanic births may be a useful measure for states planning future program needs among Hispanic women and infants.


Reproductive health characteristics Hispanic Pregnancy PRAMS Acculturation Immigration 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jill A. McDonald
    • 1
  • Katherine Suellentrop
    • 2
    • 3
  • Leonard J. Paulozzi
    • 4
  • Brian Morrow
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Reproductive Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health PromotionCenters for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Association of Schools of Public HealthWashingtonUSA
  3. 3.The National Campaign to Prevent Teen PregnancyWashingtonUSA
  4. 4.Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and ControlCenters for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA