Comparative Study of Cambodian, Hmong, and Caucasian Infant and Maternal Perinatal Profiles

Authors

  • Debra Richman RN, MPH,

    Corresponding author
      744 Van Nuys, San Diego, CA 92109.
    Search for more papers by this author
    • Debra Richman, RN, MPH, is currently a nurse-midwifery student at the University of California, San Francisco. She also has had a variety of clinical experience as a staff nurse in the intensive care unit, emergency room, and labor and delivery units.

    • Suzanne Dixon, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego, and the Director of the Well-Baby Nursery at UCSD Medical Center in San Diego. She attended medical school at the University of Minnesota, did her residency in pediatrics at the Massachusetts General Hospital, and a fellowship in child development at Harvard Medical School, Children's Hospital, Boston, MA. She has done research in cross-cultural differences in infant behavior and development, parent-infant interaction, and early childhood nutrition. She has described the influence of perinatal events on infant development and behavior in a rural African population. Dr. Dixon is married and has three sons.

  • Suzanne Dixon MD

    Search for more papers by this author
    • Suzanne Dixon, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego, and the Director of the Well-Baby Nursery at UCSD Medical Center in San Diego. She attended medical school at the University of Minnesota, did her residency in pediatrics at the Massachusetts General Hospital, and a fellowship in child development at Harvard Medical School, Children's Hospital, Boston, MA. She has done research in cross-cultural differences in infant behavior and development, parent-infant interaction, and early childhood nutrition. She has described the influence of perinatal events on infant development and behavior in a rural African population. Dr. Dixon is married and has three sons.


744 Van Nuys, San Diego, CA 92109.

ABSTRACT

The refugees of Southeast Asia continue to enter the United States in large numbers and have many health care needs. Specific data on normal growth and normative processes are lacking in these diverse cultural groups. Perinatal parameters among Cambodian and Hmong families were studied and compared with those of a Caucasian control group. The birth weight, length, and head circumference were smaller and distributed around different means among both refugee groups, although the ponderal indexes and measures of gestational maturity were the same as the control group. Perinatal complications, including cesarean section rate, were less among the refugee groups. The Cambodian and Hmong women had a higher parity and gravidity. They were shorter and lighter at the onset of pregnancy and their mean total weight gain was less than 10 kg. A substantially higher incidence of infectious disease was present among these groups. Households were large, especially among the Hmong, and the prior birth interval in this group was less than two years.

Ancillary