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Racial Disparities in US Maternal and Infant Mortality Rates []


By Ann Diamond Weinstein, Psychology Today, March 6, 2020

The United States has the highest maternal and infant mortality rates among developed nations. There is a striking disparity in maternal and infant mortality rates between African American women and non-Hispanic white women in the United States. “African American women across the income spectrum and from all walks of life are dying from preventable pregnancy-related complications at three to four times the rate of non-Hispanic white women, while the death rate for black infants is twice that of infants born to non-Hispanic white mothers” (1).

Preterm Birth and Infant Mortality

Recent statistics reveal that African American infants have greater than three times the risk of preterm-related mortality than Non-Hispanic white infants (3). Preterm birth (less than 37 weeks of completed gestation) is the most frequent cause of infant mortality in African American infants (4). 73% of African American infant deaths occur in infants born preterm (5).

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