The Detroit URC: fostering health equity through 
community-based participatory research (CBPR)
for more than 20 years

Maternal Health and Pregnancy Outcomes Among Hispanics

Funding Source HRSA $564,000; 8/98-8/02
Goals & Objectives: To describe the prevalence, distribution and relationships among metabolic, anthropometric, prenatal care, and other health/socioeconomic characteristics of pregnant Hispanic women, and assess their impact on maternal and /newborn outcomes, including birth weight, pregnancy and newborn complications.
1041 Hispanic mother and infant pairs using prenatal services at CHASS in southwest Detroit.
Partners: CHASS, UM-Schools of Public Health, Social Work, Medicine and Nursing and Henry Ford System.
Intervention: Not applicable.
Outcome Indicators: Maternal health status, pregnancy, labor and delivery complications; newborn growth and health outcomes; maternal diabetes risk perceptions
Methods & Analyses: This CBP prospective, population-based cohort study used standardized interviews, anthropometry, metabolic assays, and medical record reviews for data collection. Relationships among maternal sociodemographic, prenatal care, anthropometric, and metabolic characteristics and birth weight were assessed with analysis of variance, and bivariate and multivariate linear regression analyses.
Results: Forty-two percent of women in this study entered pregnancy overweight or obese; at least 36% exceeded weight-gain recommendations. Twenty-seven percent of the women had at least some degree of glucose abnormality, including 6.8% who had gestational diabetes. Maternal multi-parity, height, weight, weight gain, and 1-hour screening glucose levels were significant independent predictors of infant birth weight after adjustment for gestational age. [Kieffer, E.C., Tabaei, B.P., Carman, W.J., Nolan, G.H., Guzman, J.R., Herman, W.H. The Influence of Maternal Weight and Glucose Tolerance on Birth Weight in Latino Mother-Infant Pairs. American Journal of Public Health, 96: 2201-2208; 2006]. The results indicate that studies of birth weight should account for maternal glucose level. Given the increased risk of adverse maternal and infant outcomes associated with excessive maternal weight, weight gain, and glucose intolerance, and the high prevalence of these conditions and type 2 diabetes among Latinas, public health professionals have unique opportunities for prevention through prenatal and postpartum healthy lifestyles and health care interventions. Further analyses of maternal outcomes, including gestational diabetes, weight, blood pressure and pregnancy complications and diabetes risk perception are planned, as are studies of maternal health and newborn complications.


The Detroit Community-Academic Urban Research Center
University of Michigan School of Public Health (U-M SPH)
1415 Washington Heights
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
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