Prepregnancy factors related to socioeconomic status, cardiovascular health linked to racial disparities in preterm birth rates
By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter
MONDAY, Aug. 14, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Prepregnancy factors related to socioeconomic status and cardiovascular health are associated with racial differences in the rates of preterm birth (PTB), according to a research letter published online Aug. 6 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
Priya M. Mehta, M.D., from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, and colleagues examined the relative contributions of prepregnancy risk factors toward racial differences in contemporary PTB rates. Data were included for 509,890 live births to non-Hispanic Black individuals and 1,790,350 live births to non-Hispanic White individuals.
The researchers found that PTB occurred in 116.3 and 72.3 per 1,000 live births among non-Hispanic Black and non-Hispanic White individuals, respectively (racial difference of 44.0 per 1,000 live births). At the time of delivery, non-Hispanic Black versus White individuals were younger; more likely to have prepregnancy hypertension, diabetes, and obesity; and less likely to smoke, have a college education, or have private insurance. A statistically significant portion of the difference in PTB rates was explained by both prepregnancy cardiovascular risk factors and socioeconomic factors (7.8 and 21.3 percent, respectively). PTB rates would be 3.4 and 9.4 per 1,000 live births lower, respectively, if non-Hispanic Blacks had the same average distribution of prepregnancy cardiovascular risk factors and socioeconomic factors as non-Hispanic Whites.
“Preterm birth is the starting point for racial differences across the life course, not just in childhood,” coauthor Sadiya Khan, M.D., also of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, said in a statement.
Copyright © 2023 HealthDay. All rights reserved.