Trends and risk factors of stillbirth in New Jersey 1997-2005


    The purpose of this study was to examine the trends in the rates of stillbirth by race and ethnicity and to determine the risk factors of stillbirth.
    We used New Jersey data (1997-2005) for live births and fetal deaths. Cox proportional hazards model was used to estimate the risk of stillbirth associated with maternal risk factors and pregnancy complications.
    The rate of stillbirth was 4.4/1000 total births (3.4 for white and 7.9 for black non-Hispanics and 4.4 for Hispanics/1000 total births). The rates of stillbirth decreased from 3.8 in 1997 to 2.7/1000 total births in 2005 for white non-Hispanics but remained unchanged for other race/ethnicity groups. Adjusted relative risks for the risk factors associated with stillbirth were 1.3 (95% CI, 1.2-1.4) for maternal age ≥ 35 years, 1.9 (95% CI, 1.7-2.1) for black non-Hispanics, 2.8 (95% CI, 2.4-3.3) for no prenatal care, 40.2 (95% CI, 36.9-43.9) for placental abruption, 5.3 (95% CI, 3.4-8.2) for eclampsia, 3.5 (95% CI, 2.8-4.3) for diabetes mellitus and 1.7 (95% CI, 1.3-2.2) for preeclampsia.
    There was a decline in the rate of stillbirth but there were persistent racial disparities with the highest rates of stillbirth for black non-Hispanics.