Birth outcomes of Korean women in Hawaii.
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Birth outcomes of Korean women in Hawaii.

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  • English

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    • Alternative Title:
      Public Health Rep
    • Description:
      Since the end of the Korean War, immigration of Koreans to the United States has increased rapidly. In 1990, 11.6 percent of all Asians in the United States were of Korean ethnicity, and it is projected that Koreans will outnumber all other Asian groups, except Filipinos, in the United States by the year 2030. Despite the growing size of this population, very little is known about their health status. This study, using 1979-89 Hawaii vital record data, investigates the relationship between maternal sociodemographic characteristics, prenatal care utilization factors, and birth outcomes among Koreans as compared with Caucasians. The ethnic term "Caucasian" is used in Hawaii's vital records and is synonymous with non-Hispanic whites. Korean mothers were more likely to be older and have lower educational attainment, and less likely to be adolescent, single, or to have received adequate prenatal care than Caucasian mothers. More than 80 percent of the Korean mothers were foreign born. Significantly higher risks for very preterm delivery (less than 33 weeks) and very low birth weight births were observed for Koreans as compared with Caucasians. Nativity had no effect on birth outcome in this population. The results of this study suggest that prevention of preterm birth is an important focus for improving pregnancy outcomes in this growing ethnic group.
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