Racism implicated in preterm birth among Black women

A recent March of Dimes review examined more than two dozen suspected causes of preterm births—including quality of prenatal care, environmental toxics, chronic stress, poverty and obesity—and determined racism, directly or indirectly, best explained the racial disparities in preterm birth rates. Black women are about 1.6 times as likely as whites to give birth more than three weeks before the due date. Infants born prematurely are at higher risk for breathing, heart and brain abnormalities. In a recent HealthLeaders Media article, Paula Braveman, director of the Center on Social Disparities in Health at the University of California-San Francisco discusses the review, which she co-authored. (HealthLeaders Media article, 10/5/21)