WEDNESDAY, June 29, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Maternal characteristics and infant outcomes vary by maternal place of birth, according to a report published in the June issue of Vital and Health Statistics, a publication of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics.

Anne K. Driscoll, Ph.D., and Claudia P. Valenzuela, M.P.H., from the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Maryland, describe and compare maternal characteristics and infant outcomes by maternal place of birth among births occurring in 2020.

The researchers found that 21.9 percent of women who gave birth in the United States in 2020 were born outside of the United States. Women born in Latin America accounted for 12.0 and 54.9 percent of all women giving birth and those born outside of the United States, respectively, while women born in Asia accounted for 5.9 and 27.2 percent, respectively. Maternal characteristics varied by region, subregion, and country of birth, with the percentage of women giving birth under age 20 higher for women born in the United States (5.0 percent) than for those born in other regions, and obesity rates varying from 10.7 percent for women born in Asia to 38.1 percent for women born in Oceania. Infant outcomes varied by mother’s place of birth, with preterm birth rates varying from 6.90 to 11.43 percent of infants of women born in Canada and Oceania, respectively. Similar variation was seen for low birthweight and neonatal intensive care unit admission rates.

“The characteristics, residence patterns, and infant outcomes of women born outside the United States vary considerably,” the authors write.

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