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Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics

, Volume 296, Issue 4, pp 745–762 | Cite as

Obstetric and perinatal outcomes among immigrant and non-immigrant women in Berlin, Germany

  • Matthias David
  • Theda Borde
  • Silke Brenne
  • Babett Ramsauer
  • Wolfgang Henrich
  • Jürgen Breckenkamp
  • Oliver Razum
Maternal-Fetal Medicine

Abstract

Background

In Germany, regular immigrants and their descendants have legal and financial access to health care equal to the general citizenry. Nonetheless, some of their health outcomes are comparatively unfavorable, and that is only partially explained by their lower socioeconomic status (SES). The aim of this study was to assess whether this disparity exists also for obstetric and perinatal outcomes.

Methods

We compared obstetric and perinatal outcomes between immigrant women (first or second generation) and non-immigrant women, delivering at three maternity hospitals in Berlin, Germany, 2011–2012. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to assess immigrant status and other possible risk factors for the baby being delivered preterm, small for gestational age (SGA), or transferred to neonatal care.

Results

The final database retained 6702 women, of whom 53.1% were first- or second-generation immigrants. First-generation Turkish immigrant women had significantly lower odds of preterm birth (OR 0.37, P < 0.001), SGA (OR 0.60, P = 0.0079), and transfer of the newborn to neonatal care (OR 0.61, P = 0.0034). Second-generation immigrant women had significantly lower odds of preterm birth (OR 0.67, P = 0.0049) or transfer of the newborn to neonatal care (OR 0.76, P = 0.0312). Moreover, women with education below university level, age 35+, or smokers had higher odds for poor outcomes.

Conclusions

This study provides strong evidence that health disparities for obstetric and perinatal health outcomes do not exist in immigrants relative to native Germans, but exist instead in women without post-secondary-level education compared to women with such education, regardless of ethnicity or migration history.

Keywords

Immigrant Second-generation immigrant Pregnancy Obstetric outcomes Perinatal outcomes Education level Germany 

Abbreviations

ANC

Antenatal care

BMI

Body mass index

GW

Gestation week

OR

Odds ratio

SGA

Small for gestational age

95% CI

95% confidence interval

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Michael Hanna, Ph.D., (Mercury Medical Research and Writing) for revising the manuscript after the initial journal review.

Author contributions

MD and OR wrote the draft of the paper. MD and TB contributed to the study design and data interpretation. SB assisted with data collection, data interpretation, and revisions to the manuscript. JB and OR contributed to the data analysis and data interpretation. BR and WH assisted with data collection. All authors contributed to revisions to the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Funding

Funding was provided by German Research Council (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG), reference: DA 1199/2-1.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical standards

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Human and animal rights statement

This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GynecologyCharité University Medicine BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Alice Salomon University of Applied SciencesBerlinGermany
  3. 3.Department of ObstetricsVivantes Klinikum NeuköllnBerlinGermany
  4. 4.Department of ObstetricsCharité University Medicine BerlinBerlinGermany
  5. 5.Department of ObstetricsCharité University Medicine BerlinBerlinGermany
  6. 6.Department of Epidemiology and International Public Health, School of Public HealthBielefeld UniversityBielefeldGermany

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