Impact of maternal nativity on the prevalence of diabetes during pregnancy among U.S. ethnic groups.
OBJECTIVE: This study examines the impact of maternal nativity (birthplace) on the overall prevalence of diabetes during pregnancy and among 15 racial and ethnic groups in the U.S. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Birth certificate data for all resident single live births in the U.S. from 1994 to 1996 were used to calculate reported diabetes prevalence during pregnancy and to assess the impact of maternal birthplace outside of the 50 states and Washington, DC, on the risk of diabetes before and after adjustment for differences in maternal age, other sociodemographic characteristics, and late or no initiation of prenatal care overall and for each racial and ethnic group. RESULTS: Mothers born outside of the U.S. are significantly more likely to have diabetes during pregnancy. The impact of maternal nativity on diabetes prevalence is largely explained by the older childbearing age of immigrant mothers. However, adjusted diabetes risk remains elevated for Asian-Indian, non-Hispanic black, Filipino, Puerto Rican, and Central and South American mothers who were born outside the U.S. Conversely, birthplace outside the U.S. significantly reduces diabetes risk for Japanese, Mexican, and Native American women. CONCLUSIONS: Identification, treatment, and follow-up of immigrant mothers with diabetes during pregnancy may require special attention to language and sociocultural barriers to effective care. Systematic surveillance of the prevalence and impact of diabetes during pregnancy for immigrant and nonimmigrant women, particularly in racial and ethnic minority groups, and more detailed studies on the impact of acculturation on diabetes may increase understanding of the epidemiology of diabetes during pregnancy in our increasingly diverse society.