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Hosp Pediatr. 2018 May;8(5):269-273. doi: 10.1542/hpeds.2017-0234. Epub 2018 Apr 4.

Beyond "Asian": Specific East and Southeast Asian Races or Ethnicities Associated With Jaundice Readmission.

Author information

Departments of Pediatrics and.
Departments of Pediatrics and
Epidemiology and Biostatistics and.
Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California.



Clinical practice guidelines have recognized "Asian" and "East Asian" as risk factors for newborn jaundice and readmission. We sought to identify more detailed and specific, parent-identified races or ethnicities associated with jaundice readmission.


We conducted a case control study of 653 newborn infants born (2014-2016) at a West-Coast, urban hospital to examine specific parent-described races or ethnicities that are associated with newborn hospital readmissions for hyperbilirubinemia. Parent-reported race or ethnicity was abstracted from the California Newborn Screening Test.


Our sample included 105 infants readmitted for jaundice (cases) and 548 infants as controls. In the full cohort, 66 infants (10.1%) were Coombs positive, 39 infants (6.0%) were born before 37 weeks' gestational age, and 405 infants (62.0%) were born to first-time mothers. The parents described the 653 infants using 45 unique races and ethnicities. In a multivariable model that controlled for Coombs positivity, gestational age <37 weeks, and primiparity, infants described as "Far East Asian" (odds ratio [OR] = 3.17; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.94-5.18) or "Southeast Asian" (OR = 3.17; 95% CI = 1.66-6.08) had increased risk for jaundice readmission. Infants described as Southeast Asian (eg, Laotian, Cambodian, Indonesian, Vietnamese, and Filipino) and Far East Asian (eg, Chinese, Korean, Taiwanese, Japanese, and Mongolian) had an increased risk of readmission. Finally, we did not find an association between South Asian (OR = 0.79; 95% CI = 0.33-1.92) race or ethnicity and risk of jaundice readmission.


In this study, we help clarify and move beyond the term "Asian" as a risk factor for readmission due to hyperbilirubinemia.


Conflict of interest statement

POTENTIAL CONFLICT OF INTEREST: The authors have indicated they have no potential conflicts of interest to disclose.

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