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Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities

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Pacific Islander Americans -- Health and hygiene, Asian Americans -- Health and hygiene, Diabetes in pregnancy, Pacific Islander Americans -- Health behavior, Asian Americans -- Health behvior, Prematurely born children


Objectives—Ethnic enclaves are ethnically, spatially, and socially distinct communities that may promote health through access to culturally appropriate resources and reduced exposure to discrimination. This study examined ethnic enclave residence and pregnancy outcomes among Asian/Pacific Islander (API) women in the USA.

Design—We examined 9206 API births in the Consortium on Safe Labor (2002–2008). Ethnic enclaves were defined as hospital regions with high percentage of API residents (> 4%), high dissimilarity index (> 0.41; distribution of API and white residents within a geographic area), and high isolation index (> 0.03; interaction between API and white residents in an area). Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), preterm birth (PTB), small for gestational age (SGA), and smoking and alcohol use during pregnancy were reported in medical records supplemented with ICD-9 codes. Hierarchical logistic regression models estimated associations between ethnic enclaves and pregnancy outcomes, adjusted for maternal factors, area-level poverty, and air pollution.

Results—Women in enclaves had lower odds of GDM (OR 0.61; 95%CI 0.45, 0.82), PTB (OR 0.74; 95%CI 0.56, 0.99), and SGA (OR 0.68; 95%CI 0.52, 0.89) compared with women in non-enclaves. Prenatal smoking and alcohol use appeared less likely in enclaves, but estimates were imprecise. Within enclaves, about 10.5% of homes speak an API language, compared with 6.0% in non-enclaves. The mean percent of foreign-born API populations was 67.4% in enclaves and 68.8% in non-enclaves.

Conclusions—API women residing in ethnic enclaves had better pregnancy outcomes than API women residing in non-enclave areas. Access to culturally appropriate social supports and resources may be important for health promotion among API populations.


This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in the Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities . The final authenticated version is available online at:

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