• Journal Article

Reproductive health differences among Latin American- and US-born young women

Citation

Minnis, A., & Padian, N. (2001). Reproductive health differences among Latin American- and US-born young women. Journal of Urban Health, 78(4), 627-637.

Abstract

Investigations of reproductive health within Latinos living in the United States suggest that sexual behaviors and contraception use practices vary by ethnicity and between foreign- and US-born adolescents. This article compares high-risk sexual behaviors and reproductive health among foreign-born Latinas, US-born Latinas, and US-born non-Latinas aged 15-24 years. We recruited 361 females from reproductive health clinics in the San Francisco Bay Area of California between 1995 and 1998; these women completed an interview that assessed sexual risk behaviors and history of pregnancy, abortion, and sexually transmitted infections. Current chlamydial and gonococcal infections were detected through biological testing. Among participants aged 15-18 years, US-born Latinas were more likely to have been pregnant (odds ratio [OR] comparing US-born Latinas and US-born non-Latinas = 3.9, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.3, 11.4), whereas among respondents aged 19-24 years, foreign-born Latinas were more likely to have been pregnant than US-born Latinas (OR = 11.3, 95% CI 1.0, 130.8) and US-born non-Latinas (OR = 64.2, 95% CI 9.9, 416.3). US-born Latinas were most likely to have had an abortion (OR comparing US-born Latinas and US-born non-Latinas = 2.0, 95% CI 0.9, 4.7). They were also most likely to have chlamydial infection at study enrollment (8.2% prevalence compared to 2.2% and 1.0%for foreign-born Latinas and US-born non-Latinas, respectively; P =.009). Reproductive health differences between foreign and US-born females and within the US-born population warrant further examination and highlight the need for targeted prevention