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Panminerva Medica 2001 September;43(3):155-9

lingua: Inglese

Infants of immigrant parents in Italy. A national multicentre case control study

Bona G., Zaffaroni M., Cataldo F. *, Sandri F. **, Salvioli G. P. **

From the Paediatric Department of Novara, University of East Piedmont “A. Avogadro”, Novara, Italy
*Paediatric Department “Aiuto Materno”, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy
**Paediatric Department, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy


Background. The aim of this study was to eval­u­ate ­health ­state of new­borns of immi­grat­ed par­ents ­from devel­op­ing coun­tries.
Methods. Hospital ­records of 69,605 ­infants ­born dur­ing 1996/1997 in Italy ­were ­reviewed com­par­ing, in a ­case-con­trol ­study, ­each ­infant of immi­grat­ed par­ents to two ­infants ­born imme­di­ate­ly ­before and ­after to Italian par­ents.
Results. Of the 69,605 new­borns 3906 (5.6%) ­were ­born to immi­grated par­ents. This prev­a­lence pro­longs the increas­ing ­trend ­observed dur­ing the ­last 10 ­years of ­infants ­born to immi­grat­ed par­ents and reduc­es the ­fall of the ­birth ­rate ­linked to the few ­infants ­born to Ital­ian par­ents. It was influ­enced by geo­graph­i­cal fac­tors, ­being high­er in Northen-Central Italy (7%) ­than in Southern and Insular Italy (2.8%), as con­se­quence of ­more ele­vat­ed ­incomes in ­these Italian ­regions. The ori­gin coun­tries of immi­grat­ed par­ents ­were main­ly Northern Africa (31.7%), Eastern Europe (18%) and Sub Saharian Africa (11.6%). Infants of immi­grat­ed par­ents ­showed high­er inci­denc­es of prem­a­tur­ity, low ­birth ­weight, asphix­ia and neo­na­tal mor­tal­ity ­rate ­than new­borns ­with Ital­ian par­ents. These high­er inci­denc­es ­appeared relat­ed to ­some ­risk fac­tors ­such as high­er par­ity, ­short ges­ta­tion­al age, ­some mater­nal infec­tions, mater­nal ­drug depen­dence, mater­nal age ­less ­than 18 ­years, low famil­iar ­income, inad­e­quate obstet­ric ­cares, dif­fi­cul­ty to access­ing the pub­lic ­health ser­vic­es.
Conclusions. The ­health prob­lems of ­infants ­with immi­grat­ed par­ents are main­ly relat­ed to ­social dis­ad­van­tage and can be over­come improv­ing the ­social ­state, the life­styles and the obstet­ric ­cares of the immi­grat­ed wom­en, so as mon­i­tor­ing ­their ­risk preg­nan­cies.

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