Higher rate of serious perinatal events in non-Western women in Denmark

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Marianne Brehm Christensen, Sarah Fredsted Villadsen, Tom Weber, Charlotte Wilken-Jensen, Anne-Marie Nybo Andersen

Introduction: To elucidate possible mechanisms behind the increased risk of stillbirth and infant mortality among migrants in Denmark, this study aimed to analyse characteristics of perinatal deaths at Hvidovre Hospital 2006-2010 according to maternal country of origin.

Methods: We identified children born at Hvidovre Hospital who died perinatally and included the patient files in a series of case studies. Our data were linked to data from popu­lation-covering registries in Statistics Denmark. Timing, causes of death as well as social, medical and obstetric characteristics of the parents were described according to maternal country of origin.

Results: This study included 125 perinatal deaths. The data indicated that intrapartum death, death caused by maternal disease, lethal malformation and preterm birth may be more frequent among non-Western than among Danish-born women. Obesity and disposition to diabetes may also be more prevalent among the non-Western women.


Conclusion: The role of obesity, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and severe congenital anomalies should be a main focus in improving our understanding the increased risk of perinatal death among non-Western migrant women in Denmark. Six of 28 perinatal deaths in the non-Western group were intrapartum deaths and warrants further concern.

Funding: This project was funded by the Danish Council for Strategic Research as part of the SULIM project.

Trial registration: The linkage of data from patient files to data from Statistics Denmark was approved by the Danish Data Protection Agency. Only anonymised data were used.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberA5197
JournalDanish Medical Journal
Volume63
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
ISSN2245-1919
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016

Bibliographical note

PMID: 26931191

ID: 162604807