Since reproductive health is often considered a highly sensitive topic, underreporting in surveys and under coverage of register data occurs frequently. This may lead to inaccurate information about the reproductive health. This study compares the proportion of women having births and induced abortions among migrant women of Russian, Somali and Kurdish origin in Finland to women in the general Finnish population and examines the agreement between survey- and register-based data.
The survey data from the Migrant Health and Wellbeing Study conducted in 2010-2012 and data from the Health 2011 Survey with corresponding information on women in the general population were used in this study. The respondents were women aged 18-64: 341 Russian, 176 Somali and 228 Kurdish origin women and 630 women in the general population. The survey data were linked to the Finnish Medical Birth Register and the Register of Induced Abortions.
In the combined (survey and register) data, migrant groups aged 30-64 had a higher proportion (89-96%) compared to the general population (69%) of women with at least one birth. Under-coverage of registered births was observed in all study groups. Among women aged 18-64, 36% of the Russian group and 24% of the Kurdish group reported more births in the survey than in the register data. In the combined data, the proportions of Russian origin (69%) and Kurdish origin (38%) women who have had at least one induced abortion in their lifetime are higher than in the general population (21%). Under-reporting of induced abortions in survey was observed among Somali origin women aged 18-29 (1% vs. 18%). The level of agreement between survey and register data was the lowest for induced abortions among the Somali and Russian groups (-?0.01 and 0.27).
Both survey- and register-based information are needed in studies on reproductive health, especially when comparing women with foreign origin with women in the general population. Culturally sensitive survey protocols need to be developed to reduce reporting bias.
Limited information is available on delivery and its complications among migrant women in Finland. We compared mode of delivery, delivery complications, and use of pain medication during delivery between migrant women of Somali, Kurdish, and Russian origin and women in the general population in Finland.
The women were of Russian (n = 318), Somali (n = 583), and Kurdish (n = 373) origin and 243 women from the general population (reference group) who had given birth in Finland between 2004 and 2014. The data were obtained from the National Medical Birth Register and the Hospital Discharge Register. The most recent birth of each woman was included in the analyses. The main statistical methods were logistic regression analyses adjusting for age, parity, body mass index, gestational age, and smoking during pregnancy.
Vaginal delivery was the most common mode of delivery among all study groups (79%-89%). The prevalence of any delivery complications varied between 15% and 19% among all study groups. When adjusted for confounders, Russian women had lower odds (OR 0.49; CI 0.29-0.82) of having a cesarean delivery, whereas Somali and Kurdish women did not differ from the reference group. Somali women had an increased risk of any delivery complications (OR 1.62; CI 1.03-2.55) compared with the reference group. No differences were observed in the use of pain medication between the groups.
Delivery complications were more common among migrant Somali women than among women in the general Finnish population. Somali women represent a high-risk group calling for special attention and care.
In Finland, limited information is available on neonatal disparities among women of migrant origin.
This study investigated differences in caesarean delivery and neonatal outcomes between women of migrant origin and Finnish women in Finland.
The study was based on nationwide data from the Medical Birth Register of Finland. Our study included information on the most recent singleton birth of women delivering between January 2004 and December 2014 (N = 382 233). Women were classified into nine regional categories based on their country of origin. Generalized linear models were used to describe associations between country of origin and pregnancy outcomes adjusted for maternal age, socio-economic status, pre-pregnancy body mass index, parity, marital status, smoking during pregnancy, and delivery year. Finnish women were the reference group.
Among the study population, almost 92% of women were of Finnish origin; the remaining 8% were of migrant origin. Among the migrant women, those of Russian/former USSR origin were the largest group (n = 11 994); the smallest group was women of Latin American/Caribbean origin (n = 739). Compared with Finnish women, women of sub-Saharan African, South Asian, and East Asian origin were at greater risk of emergency caesarean delivery, preterm birth, low birthweight, and lower five-minute Apgar scores for newborns. Latin American/Caribbean-origin women were at increased risk of both elective and emergency caesarean delivery and lower five-minute Apgar scores compared with Finnish women. Women of Russian/former USSR origin overall had a lower risk of caesarean delivery and poor neonatal outcomes compared with Finnish women.
We identified sub-Saharan African, South Asian, and East Asian women as higher-risk groups, and women from Russia/former USSR as a lower-risk group, for emergency caesarean delivery and poor neonatal outcome compared with Finnish women. More research is needed to identify the reasons for these differences by country of origin in Finland.
The incidence of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is increasing and GDM might be prevented by improving diet. Few interventions have assessed the effects of dietary counselling on dietary intake of pregnant women. This study examined the effects of dietary counselling on food habits and dietary intake of Finnish pregnant women as secondary outcomes of a trial primarily aiming at preventing GDM. A cluster-randomized controlled trial was conducted in 14 municipalities in Finland, including 399 pregnant women at increased risk for developing GDM. The intervention consisted of dietary counselling focusing on dietary fat, fibre and saccharose intake at four routine maternity clinic visits. Usual counselling practices were continued in the usual care municipalities. A validated 181-item food frequency questionnaire was used to assess changes in diet from baseline to 26-28 and 36-37 weeks gestation. The data were analysed using multilevel mixed-effects linear regression models. By 36-37 weeks gestation, the intervention had beneficial effects on total intake of vegetables, fruits and berries (coefficient for between-group difference in change 61.6 g day(-1), 95% confidence interval 25.7-97.6), the proportions of high-fibre bread of all bread (7.2% units, 2.5-11.9), low-fat cheeses of all cheeses (10.7% units, 2.6-18.9) and vegetable fats of all dietary fats (6.1% -units, 2.0-10.3), and the intake of saturated fatty acids (-0.67 energy-%-units, -1.16 to -0.19), polyunsaturated fatty acids (0.38 energy-%-units, 0.18-0.58), linoleic acid (764 mg day(-1), 173-1354) and fibre (2.07 g day(-1) , 0.39-3.75). The intervention improved diet towards the recommendations in pregnant women at increased risk for GDM suggesting the counselling methods could be implemented in maternity care.
Peri-conceptional use of folic acid supplements is recommended to prevent neural tube defects. Correct supplement use seems to be less common among ethnic minorities. We examined ethnic differences in folic acid supplement use before and during pregnancy and possible effect modification by education or planning of pregnancy.
The participants were 811 healthy pregnant women from a population-based cohort study in Oslo, Norway in 2008-2010. Ethnicity was categorized to five groups (European, Middle Eastern, South Asian, East Asian, African). Data on folic acid supplement use were obtained from hospital records and remaining data by a questionnaire. Logistic regression analyses were adjusted for age, parity, planning of pregnancy, education and Norwegian language skills.
Before pregnancy, 30.1% of European women and 7.1 to 13.6% of women in the other ethnic groups used folic acid supplements (p?
Objectives To explore ethnic differences in gestational weight gain (GWG). Methods This was a population-based cohort study conducted in primary care child health clinics in Groruddalen, Oslo, Norway. Participants were healthy pregnant women (n = 632) categorised to six ethnic groups (43 % were Western European women, the reference group). Body weight was measured at 15 and 28 weeks' gestation on average. Data on pre-pregnancy weight and total GWG until delivery were self-reported. The main method of analysis was linear regression adjusting for age, weeks' gestation, pre-pregnancy body mass index, education and severe nausea. Results No ethnic differences were observed in GWG by 15 weeks' gestation. By 28 weeks' gestation, Eastern European women had gained 2.71 kg (95 % confidence interval, CI 1.10-4.33) and Middle Eastern women 1.32 kg (95 % CI 0.14-2.50) more weight on average than the Western European women in the fully adjusted model. Among Eastern European women, the total adjusted GWG was 3.47 kg (95 % CI 1.33-5.61) above the reference group. Other ethnic groups (South Asian, East Asian and African) did not differ from the reference group. When including non-smokers (n = 522) only, observed between-group differences increased and Middle Eastern women gained more weight than the reference group by all time points. Conclusions Eastern European and Middle Eastern women had higher GWG on average than Western European women, especially among the non-smokers. Although prevention of excessive GWG is important for all pregnant women, these ethnic groups might need special attention during pregnancy.
Excessive gestational weight gain and postpartum weight retention may predispose women to long-term overweight and other health problems. Intervention studies aiming at preventing excessive pregnancy-related weight gain are needed. The feasibility of implementing such a study protocol in primary health care setting was evaluated in this pilot study.
A non-randomized controlled trial was conducted in three intervention and three control maternity and child health clinics in primary health care in Finland. Altogether, 132 pregnant and 92 postpartum women and 23 public health nurses (PHN) participated in the study. The intervention consisted of individual counselling on physical activity and diet at five routine visits to a PHN and of an option for supervised group exercise until 37 weeks' gestation or ten months postpartum. The control clinics continued their usual care. The components of the feasibility evaluation were 1) recruitment and participation, 2) completion of data collection, 3) realization of the intervention and 4) the public health nurses' experiences.
1) The recruitment rate was slower than expected and the recruitment period had to be prolonged from the initially planned three months to six months. The average participation rate of eligible women at study enrollment was 77% and the drop-out rate 15%. 2) In total, 99% of the data on weight, physical activity and diet and 96% of the blood samples were obtained. 3) In the intervention clinics, 98% of the counselling sessions were realized, their contents and average durations were as intended, 87% of participants regularly completed the weekly records for physical activity and diet, and the average participation percentage in the group exercise sessions was 45%. 4) The PHNs regarded the extra training as a major advantage and the high additional workload as a disadvantage of the study.
The study protocol was mostly feasible to implement, which encourages conducting large trials in comparable settings.
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN21512277.
Cites: Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 May;71(5 Suppl):1233S-41S10799396
Is intensive counseling in maternity care feasible and effective in promoting physical activity among women at risk for gestational diabetes? Secondary analysis of a cluster randomized NELLI study in Finland.
Women who are physically active during early pregnancy have notably lower odds of developing gestational diabetes than do inactive women. The purpose of the intervention was to examine whether intensified physical activity (PA) counseling in Finnish maternity care is feasible and effective in promoting leisure-time PA (LTPA) among pregnant women at risk of gestational diabetes.
Fourteen municipalities were randomized to intervention (INT) and usual care group (UC). Nurses in INT integrated five PA counseling sessions into routine maternity visits and offered monthly group meetings on PA instructed by physiotherapists. In UC conventional practices were continued. Feasibility evaluation included safety (incidence of PA-related adverse events; questionnaire), realization (timing and duration of sessions, number of sessions missed, attendance at group meetings; systematic record-keeping of the nurses and physiotherapists) and applicability (nurses' views; telephone interview). Effectiveness outcomes were weekly frequency and duration of total and intensity-specific LTPA and meeting PA recommendation for health self-reported at 8-12 (baseline), 26-28 and 36-37 weeks' gestation. Multilevel analysis with adjustments was used in testing for between-group differences in PA changes.
The decrease in the weekly days of total and moderate-to-vigorous-intensity LTPA was smaller in INT (N = 219) than in UC (N = 180) from baseline to the first follow-up (0.1 vs. -1.2, p = 0.040 and -0.2 vs. -1.3, p = 0.016). A similar trend was seen in meeting the PA recommendation (-11%-points vs. -28%-points, p = 0.06). INT did not experience more adverse events classified as warning signs to terminate exercise than UC, counseling was implemented as planned and viewed positively by the nurses.
Intensified counseling had no effects on the duration of total or intensity-specific weekly LTPA. However, it was able to reduce the decrease in the weekly frequency of total and moderate-to-vigorous-intensity LTPA from baseline to the end of second trimester and was feasibly embedded into routine practices. TR
Cites: Womens Health Issues. 2003 Sep-Oct;13(5):194-914583168
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The aim of this study was to examine the predictors of change in intensity-specific leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) during pregnancy, and the perceived support and barriers of LTPA in Finnish pregnant women at increased risk of gestational diabetes. The study population consisted of 399 pregnant women who participated in a randomized controlled trial aiming to prevent gestational diabetes. Evaluation of LTPA was based on a self-report at baseline, 26-28, and 36-37 weeks' gestation. Data on predictors of change, perceived support and barriers were collected with questionnaires and from the maternity cards. Multinomial logistic regression was used to assess associations between the variables. The average weekly minutes of light-intensity LTPA were 179 at baseline, 161 at 26-28 weeks' gestation, and 179 at 36-37 weeks' gestation. The corresponding minutes of moderate-to-vigorous-intensity LTPA were 187, 133 and 99. At 26-28 weeks' gestation, the strongest predictors for light-intensity LTPA were meeting the PA recommendations prior to pregnancy, having polytechnic education and working part-time, while having a physically active spouse prior to pregnancy was the strongest predictor for moderate-to-vigorous-intensity LTPA. The people and/or factors that encouraged women to LTPA the most were the spouse, a child, other family members and weather, whereas tiredness, nausea, perceived health, work and lack of time restricted their LTPA the most. The strongest predictors for maintaining LTPA during pregnancy were pre-pregnancy LTPA, education, working part-time and a spouse's LTPA. Most common barriers were perceived health, work and lack of time.
We compared the prevalence of gestational diabetes and hypertensive disorders in the most recent pregnancy among women of Russian, Somali, and Kurdish origin and women in the general population in Finland.
The study groups were selected from population-based samples of 18- to 64-year-old women. The women were of Russian (n?=?318), Somali (n?=?583), and Kurdish (n?=?373) origin or from the general population (n?=?243), and had given birth in Finland between 2004 and 2014. The data were obtained from the National Medical Birth Register and the Hospital Discharge Register. Data on gestational diabetes and hypertensive disorders were extracted based on relevant International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision codes. The main statistical methods were logistic regression analyses adjusted for age, parity, body mass index, socioeconomic status, and smoking.
The prevalence of gestational diabetes was 19.1% in Kurdish, 14.4% in Somali, 9.3% in Russian, and 11.8% in the general population. The prevalence of hypertensive disorders was 5.4% in the general population, 3.8% in Somali, 3.1% in Kurdish, and 1.7% in Russian. When adjusted for confounders, Kurdish women had two-fold odds for gestational diabetes (odds ratio?=?1.98; 95% confidence interval?=?1.20-3.32) compared with the general population, but the odds for hypertensive disorders did not differ between groups.
Women of Kurdish origin were more likely to develop gestational diabetes. Studies with larger samples are required to confirm these findings to develop prevention strategies for later development of type 2 diabetes. Future research including other migrant groups is recommended to identify differences in pregnancy complications among the women in migrant and general population.