Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Obstetric Outcomes and Care: Prevalence and Determinants

Wide disparities in obstetrical outcomes exist between women of different race/ethnicities. The prevalence of preterm birth, fetal growth restriction, fetal demise, maternal mortality and inadequate receipt of prenatal care all vary by maternal race/ethnicity. These disparities have their roots in maternal health behaviors, genetics, the physical and social environments, and access to and quality of health care. Elimination of the health inequities due to sociocultural differences or access to or quality of health care will require a multidisciplinary approach. We aim to describe these obstetrical disparities, with an eye towards potential etiologies, thereby improving our ability to target appropriate solutions.

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