Maternal racial origin and adverse pregnancy outcome: a cohort study

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To examine the association between maternal racial origin and a wide range of adverse pregnancy outcomes after adjustment for confounding factors in obstetric history and maternal characteristics.


This was a retrospective study in women with singleton pregnancies attending their first routine hospital visit at 11 + 0 to 13 + 6 weeks of gestation. Data on maternal characteristics, and medical and obstetric history were collected and pregnancy outcomes ascertained. Regression analysis was performed to examine the association between racial origin and adverse pregnancy outcomes including pre-eclampsia (PE), gestational hypertension (GH), gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), preterm delivery (PTD), small-for-gestational age (SGA), large-for-gestational age (LGA), miscarriage, stillbirth and elective and emergency Cesarean section (CS).


The study population included 76 158 singleton pregnancies with a live fetus at 11 + 0 to 13 + 6 weeks. In addition to maternal characteristics and obstetric history, Afro-Caribbean racial origin was associated with increased risk for miscarriage, stillbirth, PE, GH, spontaneous PTD, GDM, SGA and CS. In women of South Asian racial origin there was increased risk for PE, GDM, SGA and CS, and East Asian race contributed to the prediction of GDM and SGA.


Maternal racial origin should be combined with other maternal characteristics and obstetric history when calculating an individualized adjusted risk for adverse pregnancy outcome. Copyright © 2012 ISUOG. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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