Birth Outcomes among Descendants of Foreign-Born and US-Born Women in California: Variation by Race and Ethnicity

J Immigr Minor Health. 2021 Jun 1. doi: 10.1007/s10903-021-01221-8. Online ahead of print.


This study quantifies the magnitude and persistence of differences in adverse birth outcomes between descendants of foreign-born and US-born women by race/ethnicity. Using 1978-2015 California birth records, I linked records of infants to those of their mothers to create an intergenerational sample (N = 501,323 second generation mothers and 633,102 third generation daughters). Prevalence of low birthweight and preterm birth were calculated in both generations by race/ethnicity, and foreign-born status. An initial foreign-born advantage in birth outcomes is present among most racial/ethnic groups with the exception of foreign-born Asian women. In the subsequent generation, the foreign-origin advantage diminishes for most groups and a foreign-origin disadvantage in low birthweight emerges for descendants of Asian women. Findings largely persist after adjustment for sociodemographic and healthcare-related characteristics. These results underscore the importance of disaggregating by race, ethnicity, and foreign origin when possible to better understand perinatal health disparities in the population.

PMID:34075511 | DOI:10.1007/s10903-021-01221-8