Document Type



The reproductive histories of 89 mothers in Igloolik and 43 in Hall Beach, two neighboring Canadian Eskimo communities in the eastern Canadian Arctic were compared according to the mothers reproductive status. A total of 945 fetuses, consisting of 826 (87.4%) livebirths, 28 (3.0%) stillbirths, 90 (9.5%) spontaneous abortions and one (0.1%) unknown outcome were reported. Approximately 25% of all livebirths died before 15 years of age. On the average, premenopausal mothers in Hall Beach experienced menarche about 11 months earlier and had their first baby about 12 months earlier than did their counterparts in Igloolik. The natural reproductive period ranged from 28 to 43 years with the mean age of menopause at 52 years. The average family size per naturally postreproductive female was 11.1 ± 0.9 livebirths plus stillbirths for the two communities combined. Premenopausal women had another child sooner when their previous birth died at less than one year than when it lived longer. If the previous birth lived for more than one year, pre­menopausal mothers had a subsequent child about 4 months sooner after male than after female births. No patterns of child spacing were found in the records of naturally postreproductive women. Birth rates in Igloolik and Hall Beach were 51.4 and 36.3 per thousand, respectively. 11.7 sets of multiple births per thousand births were reported. The average birth weight was 3.12 kg. Caucasian admixture, as calculated from pedigree analysis, was estimated to be about 3% in both communities. The coefficient of inbreeding in Igloolik was estimated to be about 0.001; no consan­guineous matings were reported in Hall Beach.