In January, I reported on the increased risks of diabetes for South Asian women. Now, a new study out of Australia reveals an increased risk of stillbirth for South Asian women.
The study, based in three Melbourne hospitals focused on women giving birth in Australia, but compared the rates of stillbirth for Australian-born women with those of women born in South Asian countries (India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Bangladesh). Over a period of ten years, South Asian-born women were found to have a 2.4 times higher rate ofstillbirth than Australian-born women, and a 3.4 time higher risk than women born in East and Southeast Asia.
Researchers remain puzzled as to the reason for the disparity, though there is also a significant increase in low birth weight infants in the same population. Low birth weight is a known risk factor for stillbirth.
One of the study's authors, Professor Euan Wallace, also speculated that South Asian women may need to be induced earlier in pregnancy to reduce the risk. He suggests that women may not have the same gestation period across all populations.
Photo © Michael Skoglund / Getty Images