Pregnancy risks in Asian-White couples
The risk of having pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes, low birth weight or Cesarean delivery, differs among various ethnic groups, studies have shown. Researchers at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital and the Stanford University School of Medicine, looking at interracial couples, Asian-White couples in particular, say that this interracial combo may face a higher risk of gestational diabetes and that of Cesarean delivery as compared to couples in which both partners are White.
According to a study published in the October issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, researchers studied data from 5,575 White, 3,226 Asian, and 868Asian-White couples who gave birth at the Johnson Center for Pregnancy and Newborn Services at Packard Children's from 2000 to 2005.
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Co-author of the study, Yasser El-Sayed, an obstetrician at Packard Children's and an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the medical school, said the study was done because America has got a great racial heterogeneity. "Gaining better insight into the risks facing specific populations provides for better counseling and better prenatal care."
The results of the study showed that white mothers whose partners were Asian fathers had the lowest rate of Caesarean delivery which is 23%. On the other hand, Couples comprised of Asian mother and White father couples, had the highest rate of Caesarean deliveries, 33%.
So why the discrepancy? Given that the birth weights between the two sets of couples were similar, researchers attributed the increased rate of Cesarean deliveries among Asian mother/White father couples to the pelvis size of the average Asian woman which is smaller that that of a White woman hence, less likely to be able to accommodate babies of a certain size.
Another finding was that the rate of gestational diabetes was lowest among White couples (1.6 percent) and highest among Asian couples (5.7 percent). As for Asian-white couples, the rate was a little under 4 percent.
Previous studies also found an increased risk of diabetes among Asian couples, which has been linked to genetics. The study also showed that the risk of gestational diabetes was about the same regardless of which spouse was Asian.
The above findings are deemed important for doctors who are counseling women about their pregnancy risks, the researchers said. The study points to the need for more evaluation of health risks unique to interracial couples or people of mixed race.
Do you think more studies like these should be carried out due to the increase in interracial relationships? If yes, do you think such research might affect the composition and number of interracial couples and mixed race children?
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