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"Through the looking glass" : an epidemiological look at the ethnic differences in maternal risk factors and infant outcomes in Canadian neonatal intensive care units Claydon, Jennifer Elizabeth

Abstract

Objective: Identifying that there is a lack of Canadian evidence surrounding the interaction between ethnicity and reproductive risk factors and neonatal outcomes, this study sought to report on risk factors and outcomes amongst high-risk newborns requiring intensive neonatal care. Study Design: The data source for this project was the Canadian Neonatal Network™ (CNN) Database. The CNN maintains a national standardized database that collects information on selected neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) practices and outcomes on every neonate admitted to a Canadian NICU. Results: Mothers at risk of delivering newborns requiring intensive care showed differing perinatal priorities on the basis of ethnic origin. Furthermore, there were differences in the risk of mortality and major morbidity among newborns born of different ethnic backgrounds. The risks of poor infant outcome associated with ethnicity were observed over and above the presence of other well known risk factors for adverse outcome. Conclusions: Increasing our understanding of ethnically-related differences in reproductive health issues is important in order to be able to minimize disparities in health delivery on the basis of ethnicity and to improve health outcomes for all.

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