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Soc Biol. 1979 Fall;26(3):198-210.

A partial explanation of superior birth weights among foreign-born women.



This study of 766 black women reexamined the issue of advantage in birthweight and length of gestation in foreign-born women and confirms the reported higher birthweights among that group. Subjects were new registrants for prenatal care at a public clinic in Harlem, New York City, 1971-73, and were part of a randomized trial of nutritional supplementation during pregnancy. 3 nativity groups were represented: New York City, southern United States, and foreign countries. Despite the standard selection of all subjects for high risk for low birthweight, foreign-born women had only 3.8% of births under 2500 grams in contrast to 15.6% among the southern women, and 18% among New York City natives. 6 sets of variables were examined in relation to birthweight outcome. An average birthweight advantage of 218 grams for the foreign-born was found to be associated with higher childhood social status and more positive health behaviors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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