Racial Disparities in Infant Mortality, 1990 to 2004: Low Birth Weight, Maternal Complications and Other Causes

Ginny Garcia, Portland State University
Hyeyoung Woo, Portland State University

Demographers have long studied the unacceptably high rates of infant mortality in the U.S., relative to other advanced countries. These higher rates are largely attributable to persistent racial gaps in infant health outcomes and are likely a reflection of social inequalities, which manifest as poorer infant health outcomes in certain groups. We extend on previous research in this area by utilizing the 1990, 2000, and 2004 cohort linked birth-death files to examine the risk of infant death due to several main causes including: maternal complications, pre-term/low birth weight, and other causes, and how it has changed over time. We estimate multinomial logistic regression models stratified by year to determine the likelihood of cause-specific infant death versus remaining alive. Our preliminary findings confirm differential outcomes on the basis of race across multiple causes of death over time.

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Presented in Poster Session 7: Health and Mortality of Women, Children and Families