The Arabic-speaking population is increasing in Europe and North America. Evidence suggests that Arab migrants have a greater risk of adverse birth outcomes than nonmigrants, but the risk of stillbirth is largely understudied. We examined inequality in stillbirth rates between Arab women and the French and English majority of women in Quebec, Canada.
We conducted a retrospective study of all births in Quebec from 1981 through 2015. We computed stillbirth rates by period and cause of death, and we used log binomial regression to estimate the association between Arabic mother tongue and stillbirth, adjusted for maternal characteristics.
Stillbirth rates per 1000 births overall were lower among women with Arabic mother tongue (3.89) than among women with French or English mother tongue (4.52), and rates changed little over time. However, Arabic-speaking women from Arab countries had a higher adjusted risk of stillbirth than French- or English-speaking women (risk ratio = 1.23; 95% confidence interval, 1.07-1.42). Congenital anomalies, termination of pregnancy, and undetermined causes contributed to a disproportionate number of stillbirths among women with Arabic mother tongue compared with the French- and English-speaking majority.
Arabic-speaking women from Arab countries have higher risks of stillbirth compared with the French and English majority in Quebec. Strategies to reduce stillbirth risk among Arabic speakers should focus on improving identification of causes of death.

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