Does gestation vary by ethnic group? A London-based study of over 122000 pregnancies with spontaneous onset of labour


Patel, RR; Steer, P; Doyle, P; Little, MP; Elliott, P; (2004) Does gestation vary by ethnic group? A London-based study of over 122000 pregnancies with spontaneous onset of labour. International journal of epidemiology, 33 (1). p. 107. ISSN 0300-5771 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyg238

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Abstract

Background Evidence exists that normal gestational length varies with ethnicity. This UK-based study compares gestational length amongst a cohort of white European, Black and Asian women. Methods The cohort comprised 122 415 nulliparous women with singleton live fetuses at the time of spontaneous labour, giving birth in the former North West Thames Health Region, London, UK. Results The median gestational age at delivery was 39 weeks in Blacks and Asians and 40 weeks in white Europeans. Black women with normal body mass index (BMI) (18.5-24.9 kg/m(2)) had increased odds of preterm delivery (odds ratio [OR] = 1.33, 95% CI: 1.15, 1.56, adjusted for deprivation and BMI) compared with white Europeans. The OR of preterm delivery was also increased in Asians compared with white Europeans (OR = 1.45, 95% CI: 1.33, 1.56, adjusted for single unsupported status and smoking). Meconium stained amniotic fluid, which is a sign of fetal maturity, was statistically significantly more frequent in preterm Black and Asian infants and term Black infants compared with white European infants. Conclusions This research suggests that normal gestational length is shorter in Black and Asian women compared with white European women and that fetal maturation may occur earlier.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: ethnicity, gestational length, St Mary's Maternity Information, system (SMMIS), meconium, neonatal maturity, Preterm delivery, racial-differences, duration, mortality, women, risk, care
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Non-Communicable Disease Epidemiology
Research Centre: Centre for Maternal, Reproductive and Child Health (MARCH)
Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)
PubMed ID: 15075154
Web of Science ID: 220615000020
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/14806

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