Online Program

Disparities in adverse infant health outcomes by race among hispanic and non-hispanic infants

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 5:20 p.m. - 5:45 p.m.

Whitney Smith, DrPH, Health Services, Outcomes, and Effectiveness Research Training Program, and Department of Psychology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Samantha Goldfarb, DrPH, MPH, Department of Behavioral Sciences and Social Medicine, Florida State University College of Medicine, Tallahassee, FL
Anne Epstein, MPH, Department of Health Care Organization and Policy, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health, Birmingham, AL
Martha Wingate, DrPH, MPH, Department of Health Care Organization and Policy, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health, Birmingham, AL
background: U.S.-born Hispanic infants have a well-documented health advantage relative to other minority groups. Little published research examines racial heterogeneity within the Hispanic population, in relation to health outcomes. The current study aimed to explore possible implications of racial and ethnic identification for the comparative health and disparities of U.S. born Hispanic and non-Hispanic infants.

methods: We used 2005-2009 NCHS Live Birth/Infant Death Files, restricted to singleton births to Hispanic black (HB), Hispanic white (HW), non-Hispanic black (NHB) and non-Hispanic white (NHW) mothers (n=18,795,569). Adjusted odds ratios for low birthweight (LBW), very low birthweight (VLBW), preterm birth (PTB), very preterm birth (VPTB) and infant mortality (IM) were calculated.

results: NHB infants had higher odds of LBW (aOR=1.95, CI=1.94-1.96), VLBW (aOR=2.65, CI=2.62-2.68), PTB (aOR=1.60, CI=1.59-1.61), and VPTB (aOR=2.25, CI=2.23-2.27) compared to NHWs. HB infants experienced higher odds of LBW (aOR=1.16, CI=1.13-1.18), VLBW (aOR=1.46, CI=1.39-1.53), and VPTB (aOR=1.37, CI=1.33-1.42) in comparison to NHW. Although odds for morbidities among HW were slightly higher compared to NHW, the difference was not as marked. For infant mortality, odds were 60% higher for NHB compared to NHW (aOR=1.60, CI=1.57-1.63); however, among HB and HW, odds were lower (aOR=0.92, CI=0.86-0.99 and aOR=0.78, CI=0.76-0.80, respectively).

conclusions: Outcomes vary among Hispanic infants by race, with poorer outcomes experienced by HBs. Compared to non-Hispanics of the same race, HBs experienced a disadvantage for morbidity outcomes; however, for mortality, both groups of Hispanics had better outcomes. Determinants related to perinatal outcomes should be considered in the context of ethnicity and race.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify differences in infant health outcomes by race within Hispanic population of the United States. Discuss the implications of racial heterogeneity for infant health outcomes among the U.S. Hispanic population.

Keyword(s): Birth Outcomes, Infant Mortality

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the primary graduate research assistant on multiple externally funded research projects in reproductive health and population-based health assessment. I am also a trainee of the Maternal and Child Health Policy and Leadership program at my institution, funded by MCHB, and have completed all course and qualifying examination requirements for the completion of a DrPH degree. Among my scientific research interests has been rethinking methodological approaches to addressing reproductive and perinatal health disparities.
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.