Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, ISSN - 0973 - 709X

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Original article / research
Year : 2016 | Month : May | Volume : 10 | Issue : 5 | Page : QC06 - QC09

Obstetric and Perinatal Morbidity in Northern Tasmanian Aboriginal Population: A Retrospective Cohort Study

Rashida Hakeem, Amanda Dennis, Kathryn Ogden, Kiran D.K. Ahuja, Mohammed Abdul Hakeem

1. CMO, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Joondalup Health Campus, Joondalup Perth WA 6027 Australia. 2. Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, UTAS and Senior Staff Specialist LGH, Launceston, Tasmania 7250 Australia. 3. Senior Lecturer, Launceston Clinical School | School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Tasmania, Launceston TAS 7250 Australia. 4. Research Fellow, School of Health Sciences, University of Tasmania (UTAS), Launceston, 7250, TAS Australia. 5. Neonatal Fellow, Department of Neonatology/Perinatology, KEMH Subiaco Perth WA 6008 Australia.

Correspondence Address :
Dr. Rashida Hakeem,
102/215 Stirling St Perth WA 6000 Australia.


Introduction: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are at increased risk of maternal morbidity and mortality as compared to non-Aboriginals. Similarly, aboriginal babies are at increased risk of low birth weight and infant mortality.

Aim: To investigate the independent association of aboriginality with Tasmanian maternal and neonatal morbidity.

Materials and Methods: A retrospective analysis of all the births (gestation more than 20 weeks) from June 2013 to May 2014 was conducted at the Launceston General Hospital, Tasmania. The study compared 66 Aboriginal (4.2% of the total births) to 1477 non-aboriginal births for maternal and neonatal morbidity. Comparisons were made using logistic regression. The outcome measures were maternal and neonatal morbidity.

Results: Significantly higher number of aboriginal women (49% vs 19%; OR 4.15 90%CI 2.52- 6.85) smoked and used illicit drugs (15% vs 2%; OR 9.24; 95%CI 4.28-19.96) than the non-aboriginal women (both p<0.001). Maternal morbidity was not significantly different between aboriginal compared to non-aboriginal women (OR 0.64; 95%CI 0.36-1.14; p=0.13; adjusted OR 1.00; 95%CI 0.52-1.93; p=0.99). Factors positively associated with maternal morbidity included: age (OR 1.28; 95%CI 1.13-1.46; p<0.01) and BMI (OR 1.50; 95%CI 1.33-1.70; p<0.01). The unadjusted OR of neonatal morbidity for aboriginality was 1.98 (95%CI 1.17-3.34; p=0.01) and adjusted was 1.45 (95%CI 0.77-2.72; p=0.25). Factors positively associated with neonatal morbidity included smoking (OR 2.24; 95%CI 1.59-3.14; p<0.01), illicit drug use 95%CI 1.49-(OR 3.26; 95%CI 1.49-7.13; p <0.01), hypertension (OR 2.49; 95%CI 1.61-3.84; p<0.01) and diabetes (OR 1.92; 95%CI 1.33-2.78; p<0.01).

Conclusion: The composite Aboriginal maternal morbidity does not differ, however the increased rates of smoking and illicit drug use are largely responsible for neonatal morbidity. Along with strengthening strategies to decrease medical comorbidities in aboriginals, we recommend intensifying smoking and illicit drug cessation programs.


Maternal, Neonatal, Pregnancy

How to cite this article :

Rashida Hakeem, Amanda Dennis, Kathryn Ogden, Kiran D.K. Ahuja, Mohammed Abdul Hakeem. OBSTETRIC AND PERINATAL MORBIDITY IN NORTHERN TASMANIAN ABORIGINAL POPULATION: A RETROSPECTIVE COHORT STUDY. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research [serial online] 2016 May [cited: 2018 Jul 20 ]; 10:QC06-QC09. Available from

DOI and Others

DOI: 10.7860/JCDR/2016/20113.7768

Date of Submission: Mar 12, 2016
Date of Peer Review: Apr 05, 2016
Date of Acceptance: Apr 06, 2016
Date of Publishing: May 01, 2016


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