In the past two decades, the size of the Korean American population has notably increased. Despite this, there has been little research on the perinatal health of this population. This paper examines which and to what extent maternal risk factors are associated with birth outcomes (prematurity and intrauterine growth retardation [IUGR]) among Korean Americans, particularly focusing on maternal nativity and residential proximity to other Koreans. The authors employ the National Center for Health Statistics Linked Birth/Infant Death Files for 1995–1997, pooled and linked with contextual information obtained from the 2000 Census Summary File 1 for seven selected states. Major findings, based on multinomial logistic regression models, suggest that maternal educational attainments and the status of prenatal care are strong predictors of adverse birth outcomes among this population. Although descriptive analysis indicates an elevated risk of adverse birth among U.S.-born Korean women, compared to their foreign-born counterparts, the control of prenatal care eliminates the effect of maternal nativity. Social proximity to co-ethnics, measured by the population size of Koreans in counties, has little influence on birth outcomes among Korean Americans.
Population Research and Policy Review – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 21, 2005
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