Understanding the Universality of the Immigrant Health Paradox: The Spanish Perspective
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This study sought the existence of an immigrant health paradox by evaluating the relationship between region of origin and the perinatal indicators of low birth weight and preterm birth in Spain. The data consist of individual records from the 2006 National Birth Registry of Spain. Mother’s origin was divided into eleven groups based on geographic region. We calculated the frequency of Low Birth Weight (LBW) and Prematurity. Logistic regressions were conducted evaluating relationship between origin and LBW and origin and prematurity. After adjusting for socio-demographic variables mothers from Sub-Saharan Africa had an increased probability of having a neonate of LBW over the Spanish mothers, whereas in the mothers of the rest of regions the probability was lower. No differences were found in prematurity in babies born to foreign mothers when compared to babies born to Spanish mothers. While our findings largely support an immigrant paradox with regard to low birth weight, they also suggest that region of origin may play an important role.
KeywordsImmigrant health paradox Perinatal health Low birth weight Prematurity Immigrant
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