Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

UK Black Women Have Double The Risk Of Pregnancy Complications

Date:
March 3, 2009
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
In the UK, black Caribbean and black African women have twice as much risk of experiencing severe pregnancy complications than white women, according to new research.

In the UK, black Caribbean and black African women have twice as much risk of experiencing severe pregnancy complications than white women, according to research published on the British Medical Journal website. The study, the first of its kind undertaken in the UK, also found that Pakistani women have a significantly higher risk of severe pregnancy-related health problems than white women.

Related Articles


This research reflects previous studies carried out in the US, Canada and the Netherlands.

Using the UK Obstetric Surveillance System (UKOSS), Dr Marian Knight from the University of Oxford and her team, investigated 686 cases of severe pregnancy-related complications out of a total of 775,186 maternities between February 2005 and February 2006. Complications included hysterectomy after childbirth, fits with high blood pressure (eclampsia) or blood clots in the lungs (pulmonary embolism).

Dr Knight's research concludes that non-white women are one and half times more at risk of experiencing severe pregnancy-related complications than white women. This risk doubles for black Caribbean and black African women.

There is an overall estimated risk of severe complications of 89 cases per 100,000 maternities. The authors conclude that for white women this risk is around 80 cases per 100,000 maternities, 126 cases for non-white women as a whole, 188 cases for black African woman and 196 for black Caribbean women.

Knight argues that the increased risk for non-white women may be because of pre-existing medical factors or because of care during pregnancy, labour and birth and is unlikely to be due to the socio-economic situation of the woman or whether she smoked or was obese. She says the research "highlights to clinicians and policy-makers the importance of tailored maternity services and improved access to care for ethnic minority women".

The authors believe that one possible reason for the higher risk of complications is access to care. A number of studies have previously indicated that this was a contributing factor to ethnic differences in health. A recent national survey of women's experience of maternity care in the UK reported that women from black and minority ethnic groups were more likely to recognise their pregnancy later, access care later and as a result book antenatal care later than white women. These women also said they did not feel they were treated with respect and talked to in a way they understood by staff during pregnancy, labour and birth and postnatal care.

In an accompanying editorial, Wendy Pollock from the University of Melbourne believes that routine collection of more detailed data is key to improving knowledge. She says that one unresolved question is whether ethnicity itself is directly relevant to poor maternal outcomes, or whether it is a surrogate marker for other factors like low socioeconomic status, low level of education and poor nutrition. Ethnicity is a "blunt marker when each ethnic grouping is so diverse," she argues.

Pollock also makes the point that more resources need to be directed to raising awareness about the dangers of delaying childbearing beyond the age of 35 years.

She says: "The additional burden placed on the health of these women needs further investigation because women over 40 are up to eight times more likely to have a pregnancy related death than those in their early 20s. For this group of women, improving access to maternity services is not the solution. However, defining and communicating the risk of delaying childbirth for society may speed policy movements that could support earlier childbearing, such as paid maternity leave and flexible arrangements for return to work."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "UK Black Women Have Double The Risk Of Pregnancy Complications." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090303194000.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2009, March 3). UK Black Women Have Double The Risk Of Pregnancy Complications. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090303194000.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "UK Black Women Have Double The Risk Of Pregnancy Complications." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090303194000.htm (accessed March 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 31, 2015) — The Solitair device aims to take the confusion out of how much sunlight we should expose our skin to. Small enough to be worn as a tie or hair clip, it monitors the user&apos;s sun exposure by taking into account their skin pigment, location and schedule. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Washington Post (Mar. 30, 2015) — Denisa Livingston, a health advocate for the Dinι Community Advocacy Alliance, and the Post&apos;s Abby Phillip discuss efforts around the country to make unhealthy food choices hurt your wallet as much as your waistline. Video provided by Washington Post
Powered by NewsLook.com
UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 30, 2015) — The $12.8 billion merger will combine the U.S.&apos; third and fourth largest pharmacy benefit managers. Analysts say smaller PBMs could also merge. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) — Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins