Influence of maternal region of birth on neonatal outcomes of babies born small

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Aim: To compare neonatal outcomes of small for gestational age (SGA) infants born to South Asian (SA)-born women and Australian/New Zealand (ANZ)-born women. Methods: Retrospective cohort study at a hospital network in Australia. Maternal and neonatal data were collected for infants born SGA between 2013 and 2017 to SA- or ANZ-born women. Rates of perinatal mortality and neonatal morbidities were analysed between groups. Results: A total of 1018 SA and 959 ANZ SGA infants were included. SA SGA babies were older (median [IQR] 39 [38-40] weeks) and heavier (2590 [2310-2780] grams) compared to ANZ SGA babies (38 [37-40] weeks and 2480 [2059-2740] grams; P <.001 for both). After adjustment for differences in demographics, SA SGA babies were 1.5 times more likely to develop hypothermia (CI: 1.16-1.88, P =.001), but 60% less likely to be born with a major congenital malformation (CI: 0.24-0.67, P =.001) and 36% less likely to need gavage feeding (CI: 0.43-0.93, P =.02) compared to ANZ SGA babies. Conclusion: Small for gestational age babies of SA-born women have different neonatal outcomes as compared to those born to ANZ-born women. Further research into influence of maternal region of birth on placental function, organogenesis and body composition of SGA babies is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 27 May 2020


  • foetal growth restriction
  • hypothermia
  • intrauterine growth restriction
  • small for gestational age
  • South Asian

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