Online Program

Consequences of Preterm Birth: Disparities among Hispanic Subgroups

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Kate Disare, MPH, Epidemiology, Perinatal Data Center, March of Dimes, White Plains, NY
Rebecca Russell, MSPH, Perinatal Data Center, March of Dimes, White Plains, NY
Melissa Gambatese, MPH, Perinatal Data Center, March of Dimes, White Plains, NY
Caroline Alter, MS, Perinatal Data Center, March of Dimes, White Plains, NY
Gerard Carrino, PhD, MPH, Program Resource Development and Evaluation, March of Dimes, White Plains, NY
Problem/Relevance: Health disparities among Hispanics are well documented.  However, when combined, important differences by Hispanic subgroups are masked.  Preterm birth rates (<37 weeks) in 2013 ranged from 10.9% among Puerto Ricans to 8.7% among Central/South Americans.  Not as well understood is how these disparities in prematurity impact infant mortality.


National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) 2010-2012 linked live birth/infant death files were analyzed to examine infant mortality rates (IMR) by maternal race/ethnicity, gestational age, and cause of death (using NCHS’ algorithm for preterm-related causes).


The IMR among whites and Hispanics was 5.1 per 1,000 live births.  Among Hispanics, Puerto Ricans had the highest IMR (7.2), followed by Mexicans (5.0), Cubans (4.4) and Central/South Americans (4.3). 

Among Hispanic infant deaths, 35.4% were due to preterm-related causes.  Despite a relatively low IMR and preterm birth rate (9.5% in 2012), half of Cuban infant deaths were preterm-related (50.2%).  Prematurity/low birthweight was the second leading cause of Hispanic neonatal death (22.8%), but was first among Puerto Ricans and Cubans on both neonatal death (28.5%; 25.9%, respectively) and infant death (IMR=145.5 per 100,000 live births; 90.3, respectively).  It was also the second leading cause of infant death among Hispanics overall (82.9).                          


Infant mortality risk among Hispanic subgroups mirrors the ranking of preterm birth rates.  However, the contribution of preterm birth to infant mortality does not align with overall IMR, illustrating differential consequences of prematurity among subgroups and potentially identifying areas for concentrated efforts to reduce the burden of prematurity within Hispanic communities.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Compare the risk of infant mortality among Hispanic subgroups. Differentiate the impact of preterm birth on infant mortality among Hispanic subgroups.

Keyword(s): Infant Mortality, MCH Epidemiology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: In addition to being trained in Epidemiology through my graduate work, I have spent several years as an epidemiologist in Maternal and Child Health. This experiences includes presenting at several conferences (including SPER, MCH Epi and CityMatch). In addition, my interests include examining disparites in infant health, including infant mortality.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Back to: 5013.0: Poster: Health disparities