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A Comparison of Hispanic and Anglo Compromised Birth Outcomes and Cause-Specific Infant Mortality in the United States, 1989-1991

Citation

Forbes, Douglas; Frisbie, W. Parker; Hummer, Robert A.; Pullum, Starling G.; & Echevarria, Samuel (2000). A Comparison of Hispanic and Anglo Compromised Birth Outcomes and Cause-Specific Infant Mortality in the United States, 1989-1991. Social Science Quarterly, 81(1), 439-58.

Abstract

Objective: Recent research has documented the consistency of the epidemiologic paradox. For all major Hispanic groups, despite high-risk profiles, adjusted infantmortality rates are similar to, or more favorable than, those for non-Hispanic whites. Few studies have examined the infant cause-of-death structure for Hispanics. Methods: Using the Linked Birth and Infant Death Data files from NCHS for 1989-91, this paper employs a relatively new approach to cause-of-death classification, where deaths are categorized by a typology that focuses on causes most likely to be affected by similar prevention strategies. In addition, we utilize a refinement of the conventional measure of compromised birth outcome, which includes a component of maturity not typically included in social science research. We explore the distribution of infant deaths by these new classifications, as well as the distribution by cause and outcome, for four major Hispanic groups and non-Hispanic whites (Anglos). Results: Most Hispanic groups have quite similar distributions of infant death by cause category, and, unlike the situation among adults, the distributions are very similar to those observed among Anglos. The cause-by-outcome patterns extend partly to the four leading causes of infant death, with Puerto Ricans being the most likely to show disparate patterns. Conclusions: The most important findings from multinomial logistic regression models explain (and reduce) observed differentials, and strongly suggest that, should Hispanics experience risk profiles identical to those of Anglos, cause-specific differences would be reduced sharply, and even disappear, for all Hispanic groups

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Social Science Quarterly

Author(s)

Forbes, Douglas
Frisbie, W. Parker
Hummer, Robert A.
Pullum, Starling G.
Echevarria, Samuel

Year Published

2000

Volume Number

81

Issue Number

1

Pages

439-58

Reference ID

8397