Perinatal complications and cesarean delivery among foreign-born and Australian-born women in Western Australia, 1998-2006
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Objective: To determine whether common perinatal complications could explain variation in risk of cesarean among foreign-born and Australian-born women in Western Australia (WA). Methods: Complication prevalence was calculated using the linked records of 208 982 confinements to non-indigenous women in WA between 1998 and 2006. Logistic regression was used to estimate differences in risk of elective cesarean and emergency cesarean compared with vaginal delivery for foreign-born women from different regions. Results: The most common complications in emergency cesareans were failure to progress (36.7%) and fetal distress (35.7%). The most common complications in elective cesareans were previous cesarean (56.2%) and malpresentation (16.3%). Women from Sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, and Southern and Central Asia had an increased risk of emergency cesarean compared with Australian-born women (P < 0.05), whereas women from Oceania, North Africa and the Middle East, and Northeast Asia had a decreased likelihood of elective cesarean compared with Australian-born women (P < 0.05). Conclusion: Complication prevalence varied by maternal region of birth. However, variation in these complications does not completely explain differences in mode of delivery among foreign-born and Australian-born women in WA. Sociocultural factors must be considered in future research and when establishing culturally appropriate guidelines for obstetric staff dealing with foreign-born women.
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