Birth weight (BW) is a critical indicator of perinatal health. Research has studied its prevalence, causes and determinants. Recent contributions showed that migrant-origin children are advantaged in perinatal health: They have higher BW and a lower risk of LBW. This has been interpreted as an extension of the healthy immigrant paradox. However, the narrow focus on LBW is insufficient, as evidence from Europe has proven that migrants are more likely than natives to experience unhealthy high birth weights, which correlate with adverse health outcomes over life. Using a birth cohort in France (Elfe), we (1) provide a systematic account of associations between migrant status and BW, (2) use the panel structure of the data to study trends over the first two years of life in the gap in weight outcomes, and (3) address differences in prenatal conditions and later lifestyles to account for observed differences between natives and migrants.
Presented in Session 5. Health & Mortality 1