Marcelo Luis Urquia , 1 , Richard Henry Glazier 2 , Beatrice Blondel 3 , Jennifer Zeitlin 3 , Mika Gissler 4 , Alison Macfarlane 5 , Edward Ng 6 , Maureen Heaman 7 , Babill Stray-Pedersen 8 , Anita J Gagnon 9 , for the ROAM collaboration *
4 March 2010
The literature on international migration and birth outcomes shows mixed results. This study examined whether low birth weight (LBW) and preterm birth differed between non-migrants and migrant subgroups, defined by race/ethnicity and world region of origin and destination.
A systematic review and meta-regression analyses were conducted using three-level logistic models to account for the heterogeneity between studies and between subgroups within studies.
Twenty-four studies, involving more than 30 million singleton births, met the inclusion criteria. Compared with US-born black women, black migrant women were at lower odds of delivering LBW and preterm birth babies. Hispanic migrants also exhibited lower odds for these outcomes, but Asian and white migrants did not. Sub-Saharan African and Latin-American and Caribbean women were at higher odds of delivering LBW babies in Europe but not in the USA and south-central Asians were at higher odds in both continents, compared with the native-born populations.