Nevin Manimala Statistics

Birth and postnatal outcomes among infants of immigrant parents of different admission categories and parents born in Canada: a population-based retrospective study

CMAJ. 2024 Apr 1;196(12):E394-E409. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.230878.


BACKGROUND: Most studies of disparities in birth and postnatal outcomes by parental birthplace combine all immigrants into a single group. We sought to evaluate heterogeneity among immigrants in Canada by comparing birth and postnatal outcomes across different immigration categories.

METHODS: We conducted a population-based retrospective study using Statistics Canada data on live births and stillbirths (1993-2017) and infant deaths (1993-2018), linked to parental immigration data (1960-2017). We classified birthing parents as born in Canada, economic-class immigrants, family-class immigrants, or refugees, and evaluated differences in preterm births, small-for-gestational-age (SGA) and large-for-gestational-age (LGA) births, stillbirths, and infant deaths among singleton births by group.

RESULTS: Among 7 980 650 births, 1 715 050 (21.5%) were to immigrants, including 632 760 (36.9%) in the economic class, 853 540 (49.8%) in the family class, and 228 740 (13.4%) refugees. Compared with infants of Canadian-born birthing parents, infants of each of the 3 immigrant groups had higher risk of preterm birth, SGA birth, and stillbirth, but lower risk of LGA birth and neonatal death. Compared with infants of economic-class immigrants, infants of refugees had higher risk of early preterm birth (0.9% v. 0.8%, adjusted risk ratio [RR] 1.08, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.01-1.15) and LGA birth (9.2% v. 7.5%, adjusted RR 1.12, 95% CI 1.10-1.15), but lower risk of SGA birth (10.2% v. 11.0%, adjusted RR 0.92, 95% CI 0.90-0.94), while infants of family-class immigrants had higher risk of SGA birth (12.2% v. 11.0%, adjusted RR 1.01, 95% CI 1.00-1.02). Risk of stillbirth, neonatal death, and overall infant death did not differ significantly among immigrant groups.

INTERPRETATION: Heterogeneity exists in outcomes of infants born to immigrants to Canada across immigration categories. These results highlight the importance of disaggregating immigrant populations in studies of health disparities.

PMID:38565234 | DOI:10.1503/cmaj.230878

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