Preventing chronic disease 2018 03 0815() E29 doi 10.5888/pcd15.170385
Although other studies have found evidence for perinatal health disparities among Pacific Islanders in other regions, no studies have evaluated racial/ethnic disparities in adverse perinatal health outcomes in the small US island territory of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).
We used retrospective cohort data on 8,427 singleton births from 2007 to 2014 at the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation (CHCC), the only hospital in the CNMI. We used multivariate logistic regression to estimate risk for preterm birth (<37 weeks) and macrosomia (>4,000 g) among the racial/ethnic groups in the CNMI.
Indigenous CNMI mothers (Chamorros and Carolinians, hereinafter Chamorro/Carolinian) and other Pacific Islander mothers were significantly more likely to have a preterm birth than Chinese mothers (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 2.7; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.0-3.6 for Chamorro/Carolinians and AOR = 2.9; 95% CI, 2.1-4.1 for other Pacific Islanders). Additionally, Chamorro/Carolinian mothers and other Pacific Islander mothers were also significantly more likely to deliver babies with macrosomia (AOR = 2.4; 95% CI, 1.7-3.5 and 2.3; 95% CI 1.4-3.6 respectively) than Filipino mothers.
Although underlying causes for these disparities are still unknown, these findings add to the limited knowledge on maternal and neonatal health among Pacific Islanders and provide support for further research and intervention development to aid in reducing racial/ethnic disparities of perinatal health in the CNMI.