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Am J Public Health. 2010 May;100(5):877-87. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2009.177345. Epub 2010 Mar 18.

Perinatal outcomes for Asian, Native Hawaiian, and other Pacific Islander mothers of single and multiple race/ethnicity: California and Hawaii, 2003-2005.

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  • 1Office of Analysis & Epidemiology, National Center for Health Statistics, 3311 Toledo Road, Room 6103, Hyattsville, MD 20782, USA. ASchempf@cdc.gov



We examined characteristics and birth outcomes of Asian/Pacific Islander (API) mothers to determine whether differences in outcomes existed between mothers of single race/ethnicity and multiple race/ethnicity.


We used data from California and Hawaii birth certificates from 2003 through 2005 to describe variation in birth outcomes for API subgroups by self-reported maternal race/ethnicity (single versus multiple race or API subgroup), and we also compared these outcomes to those of non-Hispanic White women.


Low birthweight (LBW) and preterm birth (PTB) varied more among API subgroups than between mothers of single versus multiple race/ethnicity. After adjustment for sociodemographic and behavioral risk factors, API mothers of multiple race/ethnicity had outcomes similar to mothers of single race/ethnicity, with exceptions for multiple-race/ethnicity Chinese (higher PTB), Filipino (lower LBW and PTB), and Thai (higher LBW) subgroups. Compared with single-race non-Hispanic Whites, adverse outcomes were elevated for most API subgroups: only single-race/ethnicity Korean mothers had lower rates of both LBW (3.4%) and PTB (5.6%); single-race/ethnicity Cambodian, Laotian, and Marshallese mothers had the highest rates of both LBW (8.8%, 9.2%, and 8.4%, respectively) and PTB (14.0%, 13.7%, and 18.8%, respectively).


Strategies to improve birth outcomes for API mothers should consider variations in risk by API subgroup and multiple race/ethnicity.

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