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Infant Mortality Differences between Whites and African Americans: The Effect of Maternal Education

Citation

Din-Dzietham, Rebecca & Hertz-Picciotto, Irva (1998). Infant Mortality Differences between Whites and African Americans: The Effect of Maternal Education. American Journal of Public Health, 88(4), 651-656. PMCID: PMC1508444

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Despite decreasing infant mortality in North Carolina, the gap between African Americans and Whites persists. This study examined how racial differences in infant mortality vary by maternal education.
METHODS: Data came from Linked Birth and Infant Death files for 1988 through 1993. Multiple logistic regression models adjusted for confounders.
RESULTS: Infant mortality risk ratios comparing African Americans and Whites increased with higher levels of maternal education. Education beyond high school reduced risk of infant mortality by 20% among Whites but had little effect among African Americans.
CONCLUSIONS: Higher education magnifies racial differences in infant mortality on a multiplicative scale. Possible reasons include greater stress, fewer economic resources, and poorer quality of prenatal care among African Americans.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.2105/ajph.88.4.651

Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published

1998

Journal Title

American Journal of Public Health

Author(s)

Din-Dzietham, Rebecca
Hertz-Picciotto, Irva

PMCID

PMC1508444