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Maternal education and adverse birth outcomes among immigrant women to the United States from Eastern Europe: A test of the healthy migrant hypothesis


  • Janevic, T.
  • Savitz, D.A.
  • Janevic, M.


Immigrant women to the U.S. often have more favorable birth outcomes than their native-born counterparts, including lower rates of preterm birth and low birth weight, a phenomenon commonly attributed to a healthy migrant effect. However, this effect varies by ethnicity and country of origin. No previous study has examined birth outcomes among immigrants from the post-Communist countries of Eastern Europe, a group which includes both economic migrants and conflict refugees. Using data on 253,363 singletons births from New York City during 1995-2003 we examined the risk of preterm birth (PTB) (

Suggested Citation

  • Janevic, T. & Savitz, D.A. & Janevic, M., 2011. "Maternal education and adverse birth outcomes among immigrant women to the United States from Eastern Europe: A test of the healthy migrant hypothesis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(3), pages 429-435, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:73:y:2011:i:3:p:429-435

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gagnon, A.J. & Zimbeck, M. & Zeitlin, J., 2009. "Migration to western industrialised countries and perinatal health: A systematic review," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 69(6), pages 934-946, September.
    2. Everett Lee, 1966. "A theory of migration," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 3(1), pages 47-57, March.
    3. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1990:80:1:70-72_1 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Wingate, Martha S & Alexander, Greg R, 2006. "The healthy migrant theory: Variations in pregnancy outcomes among US-born migrants," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 491-498, January.
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    6. Bischoff, Alexander & Bovier, Patrick A. & Isah, Rrustemi & Francoise, Gariazzo & Ariel, Eytan & Louis, Loutan, 2003. "Language barriers between nurses and asylum seekers: their impact on symptom reporting and referral," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 503-512, August.
    7. Bollini, Paola & Pampallona, Sandro & Wanner, Philippe & Kupelnick, Bruce, 2009. "Pregnancy outcome of migrant women and integration policy: A systematic review of the international literature," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 452-461, February.
    8. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1996:86:6:837-843_0 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Stephenson, Peter H., 1995. "Vietnamese refugees in Victoria, B.C.: An overview of immigrant and refugee health care in a medium-sized Canadian urban centre," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 40(12), pages 1631-1642, June.
    10. Malmusi, Davide & Borrell, Carme & Benach, Joan, 2010. "Migration-related health inequalities: Showing the complex interactions between gender, social class and place of origin," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 71(9), pages 1610-1619, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Reynolds, Megan M. & Chernenko, Alla & Read, Jen'nan Ghazal, 2016. "Region of origin diversity in immigrant health: Moving beyond the Mexican case," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 166(C), pages 102-109.
    2. Gagnon, Anita J. & Dougherty, Geoffrey & Wahoush, Olive & Saucier, Jean-Fran├žois & Dennis, Cindy-Lee & Stanger, Elizabeth & Palmer, Becky & Merry, Lisa & Stewart, Donna E., 2013. "International migration to Canada: The post-birth health of mothers and infants by immigration class," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 197-207.


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