North-South Gradients in Adverse Birth Outcomes for First Nations and Others in Manitoba, Canada.
OBJECTIVE To assess changes in perinatal mortality and risk factors for births to Aboriginal mothers in South Australia in 1981-92. METHODOLOGY All 4013 singleton Aboriginal births in the South Australian perinatal data collection were included. Trends in proportions with specific maternal and infant characteristics, and perinatal mortality by year of birth, were investigated by logistic regression analysis. RESULTS Changes found included an increase in the proportion of mothers aged 35 years and over, preterm births and births of very low birthweight (< 1500 g), but a decrease in the proportions of births to women under 20 years of age, and of births with a birth defect. There was no statistically significant change in the crude perinatal mortality rate nor in the risk of perinatal death after adjusting for risk factors. CONCLUSIONS The perinatal mortality rate among Aboriginal births, which is three times higher than the rate for all South Australian births, is not declining, in contrast to the State rate overall. This highlights the need for a concerted approach to Aboriginal perinatal health.