@@Low Birth Weight

Summary - The only two risk factors that are less favorable for Asian
births are low birth weight and prenatal care. However since Asians
are not disproportionate of very-low birth weight, and infant
mortality is equal or lower than white, this is probably not a
problem in and of itself, as much as it makes a nice alarmist
headline. In the San Jose Mercury News 3/1/95 "Early Birth More
Deadly Than Weight" National Institute of Environmental Health
Sciences says premature birth is much more serious than low birth
weight. Birthweight is simply a national trait, not a survival
advantage. It is definitely a problem for Blacks who have much higher
infant mortality rates.

Hispanics are comparable to white, Blacks are much higher. It is
commonly blamed on poverty and racism, however conservatives observe
that poor Asians and Hispanics with equally low incomes have good
outcomes, and even middle class educated black women have poor

Spectrum Ranked by Asian - Low Birth Weight
US Low BW               W1.00 B-2.23 H-1.04 A-1.10
Alameda 95              W1.00 B-2.65 H 1.04 A-1.22
MA92 low birth weight   W1.0  B-1.07 H-1.12 A-1.25 O1.07      \doc\94\17\masslbw.wk1
Santa Clara 95          W1.0  B-2.15 H-1.15 A-1.28
CA 1986 Lo Birth Wt.          B-1.8  H-1.1  A-1.5  O1.0 doc938\lobirth.xls

Spectrum Ranked by Asian - Very Low Birth Weight
US Very Low BW Index    W1.00 B-2.93 H-1.05 A 1.17
MA92 very low birth wt  W1.0  B-2.05 H-1.33 A 1.01 O1.63 \doc\94\17\masslbw.wk1

NCHS  Low-birthweight live
births, according to mother's detailed race, Hispanic origin, and
smoking status: United States, selected years 1970-93

Asians have a slightly higher low birth weight rate, but their babies
are healthy. More important, the rate of very low birthweight is much
lower for most Asian ethnic groups. Only Black and Puerto Rican have
markedly worse rates than whites, 2 times low and 3 times very low
birth rates. Most Hispanics compare favorably with whites, despite
much higher poverty rates and much lower incomes. Asians also have
higher rates of poverty than whites.

1993 Low Birth Weight Rates by Race / Ethnicity
Percent per live births

Rate    Group
    4.91Chinese          1.22
    5.77Mexican          1.04
    5.94Cen/SoAmerican   1.01
    5.98White            1.00
    6.18Cuban            -1.03
    6.24Hispanic         -1.04
    6.42AmIndian         -1.07
    6.53Japanese         -1.09
    6.55Asian / PI       -1.10
    6.56NonSmoker        -1.10
    6.76Hawaiian         -1.13
    6.89Other Asian PI   -1.15
    6.99Filipino         -1.17
    7.22All              -1.21
    7.51Other Hisp       -1.26
    9.23Puerto Rican     -1.54
   11.84Smoker           -1.98
   13.34Black            -2.23

1993 Very Low Birth Weight Rates by Race / Ethnicity
Percent of
live birEthnic           Index
    0.63Chinese          1.60
    0.74Japanese         1.36
    0.86Asian / PI       1.17
    0.89Other Asian PI   1.13
    0.95Filipino         1.06
    0.97Mexican          1.04
    1.01White            1.00
    1.02Cen/SoAmerican   -1.01
    1.05AmIndian         -1.04
    1.06Hispanic         -1.05
    1.14Hawaiian         -1.13
    1.23Cuban            -1.22
    1.23Other Hisp       -1.22
    1.28NonSmoker        -1.27
    1.33All              -1.32
    1.66Puerto Rican     -1.64
    1.77Smoker           -1.75
    2.96Black            -2.93

Original table at http://www.cdc.gov/nchswww/datawh/statab/pubd/hus-t11h.htm


Current Journal: Low Birth Weight: Future of Children Vol.5 No.1- Spring 1995

 Index       Race
 County      Total       White     Black     Hispanic  Asian/Other
 Alameda           -1.37      1.00     -2.65      1.04     -1.22
 San Mateo         -1.15      1.00     -2.52     -1.00     -1.29
 Santa Clara       -1.15      1.00     -2.15     -1.15     -1.28
 Santa Cruz        -1.02      1.00    #N/A       -1.00    #N/A

 Note that Hispanic outcomes = White even though Hispanics have the
 lower per capita incomes than Blacks, and Asians have comparable


d:\doc\94\17\masslbw.wk1 - Mass low birth weight 1992
MA92 very low birth weight W1.0 B2.05 H1.33 A0.99 O1.63 \doc\94\17\masslbw.wk1
MA92 low birth weight W1.0 B1.07 H1.12 A1.25 O1.07      \doc\94\17\masslbw.wk1


doc\94\3\priv\lowbirth.txt african-am and asian women at risk chicago
tribuine may 4, 1994 p. 7 Study backs prenatal advice as way to foil
low birth weights, but Mass data show this is not the case.

d:\doc\94\17\massbi2.wk1 - Low Birthweight by Age, Race and Hisp
20-24 W1.0 B2.28 H1.38 A1.56 


doc938\lobirth.xls Asian mothers are more likely to give low birth wieht,
  even though mortality rate is low. Children grow up smaller too.
  CA 1986

CA 1986 Lo Birth Wt.  B1.8 H-1.1 A1.5 O1.0 doc938\lobirth.xls


Study Shows Fewer Pregnant Smokers Reference: AP Monday, June 9, 1997
8:07 pm EDT \clip\97\16\birth.txt

Low birth weight rate in 1995 is 7.3 percent, same as 1994, a historic

         1994   1995
Overall   7.3    7.3
White     6.1    6.2
Black           13.1 (dropping since 1992)



INCOME.  \clip\97\24\blakbw.txt Los Angeles Times Wednesday, October
22, 1997 Study: African Women's Kids Bigger By DANIEL Q. HANEY, AP
Medical Editor " Even when blacks and whites have similar education
and income, black mothers are still about twice as likely as whites
to have unusually small babies. " "" Instead, they found that the
Africans' babies weighed closer to white babies than to U.S. black
babies. White women's babies weighed an average of 7.5 pounds,
African-born women's 7.3 pounds and American blacks' 6.8 pounds.  " 



\priv\95\03\prembirth.txt SJM 3/1/95 "Early Birth More Deadly Than
Weight" National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences says
premature birth is much more serious than low birth weight. Birthweight
is simply a national trait, not a survival advantage

Comment - Asians have a higher rate of low birth weight babies, but
otherwise they are healthier with a lower infant mortality rate than
whites. In blacks, a low birth weight is much more an indicator of
true risk.