The perinatal health of immigrant women in France : a nationally representative study Article - 2018

Fabienne El-Khoury Lesueur, Anne-Laure Sutter-Dallay, Lidia Panico, Elie Azria, Judith van der Waerden, Nolwenn Regnault Vauvillier, Marie-Aline Charles, Maria Melchior

Fabienne El-Khoury Lesueur, Anne-Laure Sutter-Dallay, Lidia Panico, Elie Azria, Judith van der Waerden, Nolwenn Regnault Vauvillier, Marie-Aline Charles, Maria Melchior, « The perinatal health of immigrant women in France : a nationally representative study  », International Journal of Public Health, 2018, pp. 1027-1036. ISSN 1661-8556

Abstract

OBJECTIVES : Despite the healthy migrant effect, immigrants and descendants of immigrants face health challenges and socio-economic difficulties. The objective of this study is to examine the perinatal health of women of migrant origin. METHODS : The nationwide French ELFE (Etude Longitudinale Française Depuis l’Enfance) birth cohort study recruited approximately 18,000 women. We studied pre-pregnancy BMI, gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), as well as tobacco, and alcohol consumption during pregnancy according to migrant status and region of origin. RESULTS : Women from North Africa and Turkey had a higher risk of pre-pregnancy overweight and GDM, while women from Eastern Europe and Asia had a lower risk of pre-pregnancy overweight and obesity, but a higher risk of GDM compared to non-immigrants. Women from Sub-Saharan Africa had a higher risk of being overweight or obese pre-pregnancy. Compared to non-immigrants, immigrants-but not descendants of immigrants-had lower levels of tobacco smoking, while descendants of immigrants were less likely to drink alcohol during pregnancy. CONCLUSIONS : Pregnant women of migrant origin have particular health needs and should benefit from a medical follow-up which addresses those needs.

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