Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 20, Issue 12, pp 2548–2556 | Cite as

Obesity, Diabetes, and Birth Outcomes Among American Indians and Alaska Natives

  • Kermyt G. AndersonEmail author
  • Paul Spicer
  • Michael T. Peercy


Objectives To examine the relationships between prepregnancy diabetes mellitus (DM), gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), and prepregnancy body mass index, with several adverse birth outcomes: preterm delivery (PTB), low birthweight (LBW), and macrosomia, comparing American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) with other race/ethnic groups. Methods The sample includes 5,193,386 singleton US first births from 2009–2013. Logistic regression is used to calculate adjusted odds ratios controlling for calendar year, maternal age, education, marital status, Kotelchuck prenatal care index, and child’s sex. Results AI/AN have higher rates of diabetes than all other groups, and higher rates of overweight and obesity than whites or Hispanics. Neither overweight nor obesity predict PTB for AI/AN, in contrast to other groups, while diabetes predicts increased odds of PTB for all groups. Being overweight predicts reduced odds of LBW for all groups, but obesity is not predictive of LBW for AI/AN. Diabetes status also does not predict LBW for AI/AN; for other groups, LBW is more likely for women with DM or GDM. Overweight, obesity, DM, and GDM all predict higher odds of macrosomia for all race/ethnic groups. Conclusions for Practice Controlling diabetes in pregnancy, as well as prepregnancy weight gain, may help decrease preterm birth and macrosomia among AI/AN.


American Indians/Alaska Natives Gestational diabetes Overweight Obesity Macrosomia Preterm delivery Low birthweight 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kermyt G. Anderson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Paul Spicer
    • 1
    • 2
  • Michael T. Peercy
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of OklahomaNormanUSA
  2. 2.Center for Applied Social ResearchNormanUSA
  3. 3.Chickasaw Nation Department of HealthAdaUSA

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