Gestational Weight Gain and Perinatal Outcomes of Subgroups of Asian-American Women, Texas, 2009

Published:March 31, 2015DOI:



      Asian-American subgroups are heterogeneous, but few studies had addressed differences on gestational weight gain (GWG) and perinatal outcomes related to GWG among this growing and diverse population. The purposes of this study were to examine whether Asian-American women are at higher risk of inadequate or excessive GWG and adverse perinatal outcomes than non-Hispanic White (NH-White) women, and to compare those risks among Asian-American subgroups.


      This retrospective study included all singleton births to NH-Asian Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Vietnam, and NH-White women documented in 2009 Texas birth certificate data (N = 150,674). Data were analyzed using the χ2 test, t test, multinomial logistic regression, and binary logistic regression. Chinese women were the reference group in the comparisons among Asian subgroups.


      Asian women had a higher risk of inadequate GWG and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) than NH-White women. No difference in the odds of excessive GWG was found among Asian subgroups, although Japanese women had the highest risk of inadequate GWG. After adjusting for confounders, Korean women had the lowest risk of GDM (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 0.49), whereas Filipino women and Asian Indian had the highest risks of gestational hypertension (AOR, 2.01 and 1.61), cesarean birth (AOR, 1.44 and 1.39), and low birth weight (AOR, 1.94 and 2.51) compared with Chinese women.


      These results support the heterogeneity of GWG and perinatal outcomes among Asian-American subgroups. The risks of adverse perinatal outcomes should be carefully evaluated separately among Asian-American subpopulations.
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      Hsiu-Rong Cheng, PhD, RN, is an associate professor in the Department of Nursing at Chung Hwa University of Medical Technology. Her research interests include childbearing women's health, postpartum health promotion with a focus on gestational weight gain, postpartum weight retention, and obesity.


      Lorraine O. Walker, EdD, RN, MPH, is the Luci B. Johnson Professor in Nursing at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests include health promotion of childbearing women with a focus on gestational weight gain and behavioral and psychosocial health.


      Adama Brown, PhD, is Research Scientist in the School of Nursing at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests include minority health.


      Ju-Young Lee, MSN, RN, is a doctoral student in the School of Nursing at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests include health of childbearing women.