Differences in socioeconomic position, lifestyle and health-related pregnancy characteristics between Pakistani and White British women in the Born in Bradford prospective cohort study: the influence of the woman’s, her partner’s and their parents’ place of birth.

Publication authors

West J, Lawlor DA, Fairley L, Wright J.



To examine differences between Pakistani and White British women in relation to socioeconomic position, lifestyle andhealthrelated pregnancy characteristics, and to determine whether these differences vary depending on the woman’s, her partner’s and both of their parents’ place of birth.


Prospective cohort study.


Bradford, UK PARTICIPANTS: 3656 Pakistani and 3503 White British women recruited to the Born in Bradford study.


Socioeconomic position (employment status; level of education; receipt of benefits; housing tenure),lifestyle characteristics (body mass index (BMI) at the start of pregnancy; smoking during pregnancy) and healthrelated pregnancycharacteristics (hypertensive disorders of pregnancy; gestational diabetes; fasting glucose, postload glucose and fasting insulin at ∼27 weeks gestation).


Fewer Pakistani women were employed (OR 0.17, 95% CI 0.15 to 0.19), the difference being markedly less for UK bornwomen. UK born Pakistani women were more likely, and South Asian born less likely, to be educated post 16 than White Britishwomen. Smoking was uncommon among Pakistani women, though the difference comparing UK born Pakistani women to White Britishwomen was less than for other groups. BMI was lower among Pakistani compared to White British women (adjusted mean difference -1.12, 95% CI -1.43 to -0.81), the difference being greatest when partners were UK born irrespective of the woman’s place of birth.Pakistani women had higher fasting and postload glucose (mean difference 0.20 mmol/L, 95% CI 0.17 to 0.24; 0.37, 95% CI 0.28 to 0.45), higher fasting insulin and were more likely to have gestational diabetes (GDM).


Our results suggest that some socioeconomic, lifestyle and pregnancy characteristics could be beginning to change in response to migration to the UK, with generally beneficial changes, that is, improving education and employment prospects, lower BMI and no evidence that being UK born has further increased the risk of GDM, but some negative, that is, slight increases in smoking.