Hyperbilirubinemia in Healthy Newborns Born to Immigrant Mothers from Southeastern Asia Compared to Italian Ones

Antonio Alberto Zuppa, Piero Catenazzi, Claudia Orchi, Francesco Cota, Valentina Calabrese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: To compare the characteristics of jaundice and hyperbilirubinemia in the newborn population of both immigrant and Italian mothers. METHODS: The authors studied a group of 1,680 infants born at "A. Gemelli" hospital during 1 y. All were with appropriate weight for gestational age, weighting more than 2,500 g, born to low-risk pregnancy. Maternal ethnicity, clinically evident jaundice (that is total serum bilirubin (TSB) > 7 mg/dL), hyperbilirubinemia (TSB > 12 mg/dL), the duration of hospital stay and their need of phototherapy were evaluated. RESULTS: In infants born to Asian mothers, hyperbilirubinemia was significantly more frequent (48.8 % vs. 26.5 %, p = 0.003) and they reached mean TSB peak significantly later (86.5 ± 38.5 vs. 74.5 ± 20.6 h, P = 0.0001) compared with Italian infants. The average length of hospitalization of infants of Asian and Latin American mothers is significantly longer compared to Italian newborns (4.5 ± 1.9 vs. 3.6 ± 1.1, p <0.0001 and 4.2 ± 1.6 vs. 3.6 ± 1.1, p = 0.0004). With regard to the use of phototherapy, and to its duration, there are no significant differences between the populations studied. CONCLUSIONS: Having studied all infants at low risk, the greater length of hospitalization is due to later peak and the higher frequency of jaundice in newborns of immigrant mother, especially in Asia. Therefore, as it happens to the Italian newborns, it would be desirable to build forecasting nomograms in these populations, to reduce the length of hospitalization and facilitate protected discharge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)N/A-N/A
JournalIndian Journal of Pediatrics
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • jaundice
  • newborn


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