01 October 2008

Pregnancy Risks For Asian-Caucasian couples.

My own two children were born in difficult, but ultimately healthy, vaginal deliveries. We also had the good fortune not to experience gestational diabetes. But, given that we are and know many mixed Asian-Caucasian couples, I pass along this tidbit about pregnancy risks for these couples.

Women who were part of an Asian-Asian couple were nearly five times as likely to have gestational diabetes as women in a Caucasian-Caucasian couple. But the researchers also found that women who were part of a mixed Asian-Caucasian couple were 2 ½ times as likely to develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy as those in Caucasian-Caucasian couples.

Surprisingly, it didn’t matter which gender in the mixed-race couple was Asian, the records show. . . .

Meanwhile, the records show that Asian-mother/Caucasian-father couples had pregnancies that resulted in cesarean sections 33 percent of the time, compared with 23 percent among Caucasian-mother/Asian-father couples. Asian-Asian and Caucasian-Caucasian couples fell somewhere between the two kinds of mixed-race couples. Baby weights were roughly standard across the groups.

From here.

The study reviewed the "records of all the Caucasian and Asian couples who had delivered a baby at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford from 2000 to 2005, nearly 10,000 births in all. Ethnicity was self-reported by the couples on medical records."

While I don't chalk it up to anything other than difficulty in obtaining good data, many public health studies break out data for Caucasians and African-Americans, and sometimes Hispanics, but often consign everyone else to the "other" category, which is too hetrogeneous to be statistically useful. Studies examining health issues specific to mixed race individuals and families are even more rare. It is also rare to see studies that disaggregate data for Caucasians in any meaningful way, despite the fact that Caucasians in the United States aren't as homogeneous as one might expect.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Interesting post that I'll share with my wife, who's Thai. We just had our second child and are uncertain if we'll have more.