Inequalities in maternal health and pregnancy outcome among Nigerian women migrated to Italy

Giovanni Zanconato, Elena Cavaliere, Chiara Beatrice Santoro, Sara Cascella, Alessia Pinto, Alice Comper, Fernanda Machungo


Among migrant women, unfavourable health conditions and adverse obstetric events are observed more often than in native-born parturients. This observational retrospective study evaluated selected pregnancy outcomes in a Nigerian population giving birth at the University Hospital of Verona. Compared to national controls, being Nigerian was associated with preterm birth (aOR 1.6, 95% CI 1.1-2.2) and Cesarean section (aOR 2.2, 95% CI 1.5-2.7). No differences were found in rates of instrumental delivery and the immigrant group had half the risk of genital tears (aOR 0.6, 95% CI 1.1-2.2) with a higher likelihood of undamaged genitals (aOR 1.5, 95% CI 1.3-2.1). Perinatal indicators of neonatal distress were increased among Nigerians, namely a low Apgar score (aOR 2.6, 95% CI 1.4-4.9), NICU admission (aOR 1.7, 95% CI 1.1-2.8), and stillbirth (aOR 4.0, 95% CI 1.3-12.8). In conclusion, sub-Saharan African women of Nigerian origin appeared more vulnerable and exposed to several adverse pregnancy outcomes. These disparities call for the improvement of obstetric care in this immigrant group. (Afr J Reprod Health 2021; 25[4]: 43-51).

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