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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


PUIG SOLA, Carmen et al. Hospital admission in newborns according to ethnicity and parents' country of origin in an urban area of Barcelona (Spain). Gac Sanit [online]. 2008, vol.22, n.6, pp.555-564. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objective: The birth rate in Spain has increased due to the continuous rise in the number of immigrants. Ethnic origin and socioeconomic position can be determining factors in differences in maternal and child health. The aim of the present study was to determine the possible existence of differences in neonatal diagnoses according to parental ethnic origin. Methods: We performed a retrospective, cross-sectional study of all live newborns delivered in Hospital del Mar (Barcelona) between 2003 and 2005. The variables studied were risk of admission, diagnostic classes, and parental ethnic group. Results: Of the 2118 newborns included in this study, 46.7% were of immigrant origin (mainly from Central and South America) and 6.4% were gypsies. More than 60% of the 1445 admitted newborns were included in the diagnostic class of risk or suspicion of infection. The risk of pregnancy with little or no prenatal care was higher in non-native and gypsy newborns (OR = 2.58; 95%CI: 1.76-3.77, and OR = 5.84; 95%CI: 3.45-9.90, respectively). The risk of low birth weight and maternal drug use were lower in non-native newborns (OR = 0.17; 95%CI: 0.03-0.90, and OR = 0.12; 95%CI: 0.03-0.44, respectively). Conclusions: Differences in non-native and gypsy newborns compared with native newborns are not due to imported or genetic diseases but are probably due to differences in the social and cultural environment during pregnancy. Preventive measures should be promoted and reinforced and access to and the quality of primary care should be improved in these mothers and their infants.

Keywords : Immigrant; Pregnancy; Newborn; Neonatal diagnoses; Gipsy.

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