Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Father's ethnic background influences birthweight, study finds

Date:
June 30, 2014
Source:
St. Michael's Hospital
Summary:
A father's ethnic background can influence a child's birthweight, a new study has found. Current birthweight curves -- graphs used to plot how one baby's weight compares to others of the same age -- assume that the parents are of Western European descent. That means many babies of an East Asian or South Asian mother may be classified as underweight, when in fact they are "normal" for their ethnic groups. The new study shows the same is true when the father is of Asian descent.

A father's ethnic background can influence a child's birthweight, a new study has found.

Previous research by Dr. Joel Ray of St. Michael's Hospital has shown that a mother's ethnic background can influence birthweights, and his team's new study shows the same is true for a father.

Dr. Ray, a physician and researcher at the hospital's Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, has studied birthweights among different ethnic groups because babies who are considered to be small or large just before birth can trigger medical interventions such as Cesarean deliveries. Birthweight is also one of the essential yardsticks used to measure a baby's progress in its first days and weeks after birth.

Current birthweight curves--graphs used to plot how one baby's weight compares to others of the same age -- assume that the parents are of Western European descent. That means many babies of an East Asian or South Asian mother may be classified as underweight, when in fact they are "normal" for their ethnic groups. The new study shows the same is true when the father is of Asian descent.

Knowing how ethnic backgrounds impact birthweights is particularly important in Canada, given the growing number of mixed race families. Researchers led by Dr. Joel Ray, have developed the first "newborn weight curves" for specific ethnic groups across Canada, but using only the mother's ethnicity.

Dr. Ray's new paper, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, shows that babies born to a foreign-born mother and a foreign-born father weigh about six per cent less than those whose both parents were born in Canada.

Babies of a Canadian-born mother and foreign-born father weigh quite a bit less than those of two Canadian-born parents. Babies of a Canadian-born father and a foreign-born mother weigh somewhere in between.

Dr. Ray also looked at whether birthweights were affected by where the parents lived. When immigrant parents live in neighborhoods with a high concentration of people from their same ethnic background, their babies weigh less than those of Canadian-born parents. This is particularly true for male babies, he said.

Dr. Ray's study was based on an examination of 692,301 births recorded with Vital Statistics in Ontario between 2002 and 2009.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by St. Michael's Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. R. Zipursky, A. L. Park, M. L. Urquia, M. I. Creatore, J. G. Ray. Influence of paternal and maternal ethnicity and ethnic enclaves on newborn weight. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, 2014; DOI: 10.1136/jech-2014-204257

Cite This Page:

St. Michael's Hospital. "Father's ethnic background influences birthweight, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140630094846.htm>.
St. Michael's Hospital. (2014, June 30). Father's ethnic background influences birthweight, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140630094846.htm
St. Michael's Hospital. "Father's ethnic background influences birthweight, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140630094846.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 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:
from the past week

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