Immigration and intermarriage have not been focused on in Italy. Our objective is to evaluate risk factors for neonatal pathology distinguishing newborns of immigrant ethnically homogeneous couples (EHC) from those of immigrant women in interethnic couples (IC).
We studied 721 newborns consecutively delivered from 2004 to 2007 at the “E. de Santis” Hospital in Genzano (Rome), 519 EHC neonates and 202 IC babies. 1442 randomly recruited autochthons (A) were collected too. For each category the following factors were considered: maternal age, ethnicity, education and marital status, prenatal test for HBsAg, type of delivery, gestational age, birthweight, Apgar Score at 5′, neonatal outcome, paternal age and education. A statistical analysis of the data was performed (χ2c).
Main results Women from Eastern Europe represented the vast majority in both the groups, but the second one (IC) was comprehensive of almost all coming from the Americas and Western Europe. IC women differed significantly from the EHC ones for higher age (31±5.3 years vs 27.5±5. A:31.9±4.8), education (41/202 of university degree vs 36/519. A:195/1442) and occurrence of being unmarried (69/202 vs 118/519. A:266/1442). Their partners too were more aged and educated than fathers of EHC newborns (p<0.001). Prevalence of newborns at risk for HBV vertical infection was lower for the IC offspring than for the EHC one (14.8×1000 vs 36.6×1000; A:4×1000). Premature birth more frequently concerned EHC newborns than IC neonates and autochthons (p<0.001), but occurrence of low birth-weight, neonatal asphyxia and adverse neonatal outcome did not differ among the groups.
Conclusions Parental education is not strictly associated to neonatal health in our society.