Differences in preterm births and birth weight between new-borns of roma and non-roma mothers in slovenia
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National institute of public health National instiute of public health "Trubarjeva 2 1000 Ljubljana Slovenia" Slovenia
National institute of public health
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1372
The reproductive health of Roma women is largely influenced by socio-economic determinants, cultural and social values in the Roma community as well as by their lifestyle and use of preventive health services. Health of Roma new-borns is closely linked to health of their mothers. Data from other countries show differences in health between new-borns of Roma origin and others. This research examines whether these differences also exist in Slovenia.

The research included the analysis of data from the national health statistical database of the Perinatal Information System of the Republic of Slovenia for the period 2012-2014. The women with permanent residence in Roma settlements were defined as Roma women and all other women as non-Roma women. The research compared the incidence of preterm birth (less than 37 gestational weeks) and low birthweight (less than 2.500 grams). The statistical significancy of the differences between two groups was verified by χ2 Test (p<0,05).

During the period 2012-2014 there were 424 liveborns by women, residents of Roma settlements and 62.816 liveborns by other residents of Slovenia. Roma children had a 59% higher risk of preterm birth than other children and a 2.7 times higher risk of low birth weight than other children did. Only 19,6% of Roma new-borns were in the weight category 3500 grams or more, compared to 40,5% of other new-borns.

Roma new-borns had significantly lower birthweight and were more often born prematurely. More efforts should be directed toward increase of health literacy of Roma women, increased use of preventive health services and improvement of socio-economic determinants of their life.

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