Maternal health and pregnancy outcomes among women of refugee background from Asian countries

Melanie Gibson-Helm, Jacqueline Boyle, I-Hao Cheng, Christine East, Michelle Knight, Helena Jane Teede

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Objective To compare maternal health, prenatal care, and pregnancy outcomes among women of refugee background (born in Asian humanitarian source countries [HSCs]) and non-refugee background (born in Asian non-HSCs) at Monash Health (Melbourne, VIC, Australia). Methods In a retrospective study, data were obtained for women born in HSCs and non-HSCs from the same region who received government-funded health care for singleton pregnancies between 2002 and 2011. Multivariable regression analyses assessed associations between maternal HSC origin and pregnancy outcomes. Results Data were included for 1930 women from South Asian HSCs and 7412 from non-HSCs, 107 from Southeast Asian HSCs and 5574 from non-HSCs, 287 from West Asian HSCs and 990 from non-HSCs. Overweight, anemia, and teenage pregnancy were generally more common in the HSC groups. Birth in an HSC was independently associated with poor/no pregnancy care attendance (OR 4.2; 95 CI 2.5-7.3), late booking visit (OR 1.3; 95 CI 1.1-1.5), and post-term birth (OR 3.0; 95 CI 2.0-4.5) among women from South Asia. For Southeast Asia, HSC birth was independently associated with labor induction (OR 2.0; 95 CI 1.1-3.5). No independent associations were recorded for West Asia. Conclusion Women born in Afghanistan, Bhutan, Iraq, and Myanmar had poorer general maternal health. Those from South Asian HSCs had increased risks of lower engagement in prenatal care, and post-term birth
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146 - 151
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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