Birth risks differ for Asian-Caucasian couples

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - New research indicates that the rates of cesarean deliveries, gestational diabetes, and other pregnancy-related outcomes differ among Asian, Caucasian, and interracial Asian-Caucasian couples.

“Our study demonstrates that interracial Asian-Caucasian couples represent a population with distinct perinatal risks, with differing risks depending upon which parent is of Asian race,” the researchers state in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

The findings are based on a study of 868 Asian-Caucasian couples, 3226 Asian couples, and 5575 Caucasian couples who delivered at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Stanford, California, from 2000 to 2005.

Compared to Caucasian couples, Asian-Caucasian couples were 2.4- and 2.6-times more likely to be affected by gestational diabetes, depending on whether the mother was Caucasian or Asian, Dr. Michael J. Nystrom, from Stanford University Medical Center, and colleagues found.

The risk in Asian couples, however, was even higher at 4.7-times higher than in Caucasian couple,

The results also indicate that Caucasian couples had larger babies than the other groups. The average birthweight in Caucasian couples was 3400 grams, compared with the next highest weight, 3360 grams, which was seen in Asian-mother/Caucasian-father couples.

Compared with Asian couples, Asian-mother/Caucasian-father couples were the only ones to have an increased rate of cesarean delivery.

“Further research into interracial couples may she light onto the effects of genetics vs environment on perinatal outcomes,” the team concludes.

SOUIRCE: American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, October 2008.