Ethnicity, Acculturation and Obstetric Outcomes: Different Risk Factor Profiles in Low- and High-Acculturation Hispanics and in White Non-Hispanics

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Journal of Reproductive Medicine for the Obstetrician and Gynecologist


OBJECTIVE: To compare risk factors and birth outcomes among low- and high-acculturated Hispanics and white non-Hispanics. STUDY DESIGN: Information on 1,172 women who delivered was collected in a cross-sectional study at a public hospital in Phoenix, Arizona. We compared 3 groups: low- (reference group) and high-acculturated Hispanics and white non-Hispanics. Acculturation was defined within Hispanics by predominant orientation: Latin America (low) or United States (high). RESULTS: Prevalence of substance abuse and interpersonal violence was highest in the white non-Hispanics when compared to low-acculturated Hispanics, and intermediate in the high-acculturation group. Births to women < 17 years old were highest in the high-acculturation group. Preterm labor and pregnancy-induced hypertension were more common in white non-Hispanics. Sexually transmitted disease was more likely in the high-acculturated Hispanic group. Diabetes was more common in both comparison groups, high-acculturated and white non-Hispanic. CONCLUSION: High-acculturated Hispanics, like high-risk white non-Hispanics, had more risk factors and adverse obstetric outcomes than the low-acculturated group. The acculturation process may lead to difficulty for Hispanics in the United States.

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