Obstetric Outcomes among Syrian Refugees: A Comparative Study at a Tertiary Care Maternity Hospital in Turkey

Ozel S., Yaman S., ÇELİK H., Hancerliogullari N., Balci N., Engin-Ustun Y.

Revista Brasileira de Ginecologia e Obstetricia, vol.40, no.11, pp.673-679, 2018 (ESCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 40 Issue: 11
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1055/s-0038-1673427
  • Journal Name: Revista Brasileira de Ginecologia e Obstetricia
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.673-679
  • Keywords: Syrian Refugees, immigrants, obstetric outcomes, neonatal outcomes, antenatal care, POSTTRAUMATIC-STRESS-DISORDER, PREGNANCY OUTCOMES
  • Lokman Hekim University Affiliated: Yes


© 2018 Federacao Brasileira das Sociedades de Ginecologia e Obstetricia. All rights reserved.Objective The aim of this study was to analyze and compare obstetric and neonatal outcomes between Syrian refugees and ethnic Turkish women. Methods Retrospective, observational study. A total of 576 Syrian refugees and 576 ethnic Turkish women were included in this study, which was conducted between January 2015 and December 2015 at a tertiary maternity training hospital in Ankara, Turkey. The demographic characteristics, obstetric and neonatal outcomes were compared. The primary outcomes were pregnancy outcomes and cesarean rates between the groups Results The mean age was significantly lower in the refugee group (p < 0.001). Mean gravidity, proportion of adolescent pregnancies, proportion of pregnant women aged 12 to 19 years, and number of pregnancies at < 18 years were significantly higher among the refugee women (p < 0.001). Rates of antenatal follow-up, double testing, triple testing, gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) screening, and iron replacement therapy were significantly lower in the refugee group (p < 0.001). The primary Cesarean section rate was significantly lower in the refugee group (p = 0.034). Pregnancies in the refugee group were more complicated, with higher rates of preterm delivery (< 37 weeks), preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM), and low birth weight (< 2,500 g) when compared with the control group (4.2% versus 0.7%, p < 0.001; 1.6% versus 0.2%, p = 0.011; and 12% versus 5.8%, p < 0.001, respectively). Low education level (odds ratio [OR] = 1.7, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.5-0.1), and weight gain during pregnancy (OR = 1.7, 95% CI = 0.5-0.1) were found to be significant indicators for preterm birth/PPROM and low birthweight. Conclusion Syrian refugees had increased risks of certain adverse obstetric outcomes, including preterm delivery, PPROM, lower birth weight, and anemia. Several factors may influence these findings; thus, refugee women would benefit from more targeted care during pregnancy and childbirth.