A rise observed in Low Birthweight (LBW) and Very Low Birthweight (VLBW) rates among Latinos signals a reason for concern, especially since Latinos represent the fastest growing group in the country (NCHS, 1999). In Boston, for three consecutive years between 1992-1994, and again in 1996 the proportion of LBW infants, a primary contributor to neonatal mortality, increased among Latinos (BPHC, 1998). These trends were the basis for this study which examined LBW and VLBW outcomes among Latinas in Boston for the nine year period from 1987-1995 using birth certificate data from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. The questions addressed in the study were (1) What factors influence Latino birth outcomes in Boston, particularly LBW and VLBW? and (2) Do these factors occur differently among Latino women from different ethnic backgrounds? The sociodemographic, health access, maternal/biological, substance use and infant risk factors contributing to poor birthweight outcomes among Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Dominicans, Mexicans, Central Americans, South Americans and Other Latino ethnic groups were examined through bivariate and multivariate analyses. This paper will discuss statistically significant differences that were observed among the groups examined. It will highlight variations in the number and types of variables impacting birthweight among the various Latino ethnic groups. It will also provide an overview of the potential for the study findings to inform future program initiatives and health and social policies regarding Latino women’s reproductive and perinatal health as well as to increase our understanding of the cultural and social context of childbearing among Latino women.
Learning Objectives: N/A
Keywords: Maternal and Child Health, Latinas
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA