Recent Immigration and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes in an Urban Setting in Spain

Garcia-Subirats, Irene; Pérez, Glòria; Rodríguez-Sanz, Maica; Salvador, Joaquín; Jané, Mireia
July 2011
Maternal & Child Health Journal;Jul2011, Vol. 15 Issue 5, p561
Academic Journal
To describe social and economic inequalities in non-fatal pregnancy outcomes (low birth weight, preterm birth and small for gestational age births) in the neighbourhoods of the city of Barcelona (Spain), according to maternal age and maternal country of origin, between 1991 and 2005. A cross-sectional ecological study was carried out using the 38 neighbourhoods of Barcelona as the unit of analysis. The study population comprises the 192,921 live births to resident women aged 12-49 residing from 1991 to 2005. Information was gathered from births registry. Prevalence of low birth-weight, preterm birth and small for gestational age, was calculated for each of the 38 neighbourhoods of mothers' residence, stratifying results by maternal age and country of origin. The indicator of neighbourhood socio-economic level was the unemployment rate. Quartile maps along with Spearman correlation coefficients and linear regression were performed between indicators. The present study reports socio-economic inequalities in pregnancy outcomes among neighbourhoods in Barcelona (Spain): the more disadvantaged neighbourhoods have worse pregnancy outcomes (low birth weight, preterm birth and small for gestational age births) in all women age groups. These inequalities do not exist among immigrant women, and some groups of foreign mothers even have lower rates of low birth weight, pretem birth, and small for gestational age births than autochthonous women. The existing inequalities suggest that policy efforts to reduce these inequalities are not entirely successful and should focus on improving pregnancy and delivery care in less privileged women in a country with universal access to health care.


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