"Now we see that the daughters of foreign-born women have similar issues," said Packard Children's neonatologist Ashima Madan, MD, "and that the indicators we have traditionally used to predict pregnancy outcomes - maternal educational level and age, and access to early prenatal care, for example - aren't reliable for every population." Madan is the lead author of the research, to be published in the March issue of the Journal of Pediatrics.
Researchers call the previously identified differences in pregnancy outcomes between Indian and Mexican immigrants the "dual paradox." That's because Mexican women giving birth in the United States are more likely than women from India to have healthy-sized newborns, even though they are less likely to have completed high school or to have initiated prenatal care during the first trimester of their pregnancy. In contrast, newborns of Indian immigrants, most of whom have completed college and begun prenatal care early, are more likely to deliver a low birth weight infant.
Madan, associate professor of pediatrics at the medical school, and her colleagues set out to determine for the first time whether this pattern persisted in the U.S.-born daughters of these immigrants. They surveyed more than 6 million births that occurred in 11 states between 1995 and 2000 to white, foreign and U.S.-born Asian-Indian and Mexican women. In addition to collecting data about the mother's birthplace and ethnic group, the birth records documented maternal age, hist
Contact: Krista Conger
Stanford University Medical Center