Higher Rates of Cesarean Sections Found in Somali Immigrant Women in Minnesota

Amenah A. Agunwamba, Lila J. Finney Rutten, Jennifer L. St. Sauver, Akochi O. Agunwamba, Debra J. Jacobson, Michaela E. McGree, Jane W. Njeru

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare prenatal characteristics and postpartum outcomes among Somali and non-Somali women residing in Olmsted County. Methods: We reviewed the medical records for a cohort of Somali women (≥18 years old; N= 298) who had singleton births between January 2009 and December 2014 and for an age-matched non-Somali cohort (N= 298) of women residing in Olmsted County, Minnesota. Logistic regression models which accounted for repeated measures were used to assess differences in prenatal and postpartum outcomes between Somali and non-Somali women. Results: Somali women had a significantly higher odds of cesarean section (adjusted OR=1.81; 95% CI=1.15, 2.84). Additionally, Somali women had a significantly lower odds of postpartum depression (adjusted OR=0.27; 95% CI=0.12, 0.63). Conclusion: The reported adverse postpartum outcomes have implications for interventions aimed at addressing perinatal care disparity gaps for Somali women immigrant and refugee populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • Disparities
  • Immigrant health
  • Maternal health
  • Somali health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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