Disparities in pre-eclampsia and eclampsia among immigrant women giving birth in six industrialised countries

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OBJECTIVE: To assess disparities in preeclampsia and eclampsia among immigrant women from various world regions giving birth in six industrialised countries.

DESIGN: Cross-country comparative study of linked population-based databases.

SETTING: Provincial or regional obstetric delivery data from Australia, Canada, Spain and the USA and national data from Denmark and Sweden.

POPULATION: All immigrant and non-immigrant women delivering in the six industrialised countries within the most recent 10-year period available to each participating centre (1995-2010).

METHODS: Data was collected using standardised definitions of the outcomes and maternal regions of birth. Pooled data were analysed with multilevel models. Within-country analyses used stratified logistic regression to obtain odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Preeclampsia, eclampsia and preeclampsia with prolonged hospitalisation (cases per 1000 deliveries).

RESULTS: There were 9 028 802 deliveries (3 031 399 to immigrant women). Compared with immigrants from Western Europe, immigrants from Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America & the Caribbean were at higher risk of preeclampsia (OR: 1.72; 95% CI: 1.63, 1.80 and 1.63; 95% CI: 1.57, 1.69) and eclampsia (OR: 2.12; 95% CI: 1.61, 2.79 and 1.55; 95% CI: 1.26, 1. 91), respectively, after adjustment for parity, maternal age and destination country. Compared with native-born women, European and East Asian immigrants were at lower risk in most industrialised countries. Spain exhibited the largest disparities and Australia the smallest.

CONCLUSION: Immigrant women from Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America & the Caribbean require increased surveillance due to a consistently high risk of preeclampsia and eclampsia.

Original languageEnglish
JournalB J O G
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)1492-500
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014

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