Perinatal Disparities for Black Mothers and Their Newborns

Department of Pediatrics, Penn State University College of Medicine, Pediatrics, H085, 500 University Dr., Hershey, PA, 17033, USA.
Maternal and Child Health Journal (Impact Factor: 2.24). 09/2007; 12(4):452-60. DOI: 10.1007/s10995-007-0280-6
Source: PubMed


In the United States, significant ethnic and racial health and healthcare disparities exist among our most vulnerable populations, new mothers and newborns. We sought to determine disparities in socioeconomic status, perinatal health, and perinatal healthcare for black mothers and their newborns cared for in well-baby nurseries compared with white mother/baby pairs in Pennsylvania.
A retrospective analysis of a merged data set containing birth and clinical discharge records was conducted. Perinatal data from 44,105 black mothers and their singleton newborns, > or = 35 weeks gestational age cared for in Pennsylvania well-baby nurseries from 1998-2002 were compared with 88,210 white mother/baby pairs.
Black mothers were younger and were much more likely to receive Medicaid or be uninsured compared with white mothers. They were less likely to be college-educated, married, or have prenatal care beginning in the first trimester. Infants born to black mothers were less likely to be delivered via Cesarean section, but were more likely to be born between 35 and 38 weeks gestation and be of low birth weight.
Numerous significant disparities exist for black mothers and their newborns cared for in well-baby nurseries in Pennsylvania. Since most newborns are cared for in this setting as opposed to intensive care environments, recognition of the differences that exist for this group when compared to well newborns of white mothers can help to improve healthcare and its delivery to this population. Federal and local initiatives must continue efforts to eliminate racial disparities.

Download full-text


Available from: Ian M Paul, Dec 30, 2014
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The association between underweight and stillbirth remains poorly defined, especially across racial/ethnic sub-populations. We investigate the association of pre-pregnancy underweight on the risk for early and late stillbirth among black and white mothers. We conducted analysis on the Missouri maternally linked data files covering the period 1989-1997 inclusive. Using body mass index (BMI), we categorized mothers as underweight (BMI <18.5) and normal weight (BMI = 18.5-24.9). By applying logistic regression modeling with adjustment for intracluster correlation, we estimated the risk for total, early (-28 weeks of gestation), and late stillbirth (>28 weeks of gestation) among black and white mothers. A total of 1808 cases of stillbirth were registered. The rate of stillbirth among white mothers was 3.7 per 1000, while the rate among blacks was 7.1 per 1000. Underweight black mothers had comparable risk for total (OR, 0.9; 95% CI, 0.7-1.2), early (OR, 1.1; 95% CI, 0.8-1.5), and late stillbirth (OR, 0.8; 95% CI, 0.5-1.2) as compared to their normal-weight counterparts. By contrast, underweight white gravidas had a 30% reduced likelihood (OR, 0.7; 95% CI, 0.6-0.9) for late stillbirth as compared to normal-weight white mothers. However, the risks for total and early stillbirth among underweight white mothers were similar to those of normal-weight white mothers. Low prepregnancy BMI has similar effects on fetal survival in both blacks and whites except for late stillbirth. The underweight white survival advantage over blacks in late pregnancy could probably be due to greater access for identified white at-risk groups to effective obstetrical interventions as previously reported.
    Preview · Article · Jul 2009 · Journal of the National Medical Association

Similar Publications