To examine whether an excess risk of maternal mortality exists among migrant women in Western Europe. We searched electronic databases for studies published 1970 through 2013 for all observational studies comparing maternal mortality between the host country and a defined migrant population. Results were derived from a random-effects meta-analysis, and statistical heterogeneity assessed by the I (2) statistic. In sub-analyses we also calculated summary estimates stratified by direct and indirect death causes. We included 13 studies with more than 42 million women and 4,995 maternal deaths. Compared with indigenous born women, the pooled risk estimate (RR) was 2.00 with 95 % confidence interval (CI) of 1.72, 2.33. Migrant women had a non-significantly higher risk of dying from direct than indirect death causes; pooled RRs of 2.65 CI 1.88, 3.74 and 1.83 CI 1.37, 2.45. This meta-analysis provides evidence that migrant women in Western European countries have an excess risk of maternal mortality.
Maternal and Child Health Journal, 2013, Vol 18, Issue 7, p. 1628-1638
Maternal mortality; Migrants; Maternal health; Meta-analysis; Western Europe