A community-engaged approach to understanding the impact of structural racism on maternal health equity.

Project: Research project

Project Details


Black-White disparities in adverse pregnancy outcomes (APOs: preterm birth, small for gestational age, and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy) are one of the largest and most persistent health inequities in the US. APOs and CVD share common CVD risk factors, such as high blood pressure, that may contribute to shared pathophysiologic mechanisms leading to vascular injury and future CVD. Structural racism is believed to be an important root cause underlying persistent disparities seen in both APO and CVD risk. Yet, it remains unclear how best to operationalize this complex phenomenon in a way that reflects the multitude of ways it impacts health and can be monitored and addressed to effect change. Thus, the overall goal of this project is to work with a geographically diverse group of pregnant and birthing persons, community organizations and other stakeholders to identify the most salient approaches to address the adverse impact of exposure to structural racism on Black-White inequities in APOs and CVD risk. We will work with this group to co-create a measure of structural racism, and we will then apply this measure to data from a prospective cohort, the Nulliparous Pregnancy Outcomes Study: Monitoring Mothers-to-Be (nuMoM2b) and the follow-up Heart Health Studies (HHS). We will use these data sources to quantify the impact intervening on structural racism has on Black-White inequities in APOs and CVD risk factor burden. Involving community members and stakeholders across the P3 EQUATE Network in each stage of the research process will enable us to better inform effective intervention strategies to reduce maternal and infant health inequities.
Effective start/end date7/1/226/30/26


  • American Heart Association (22HERNPMI985236)


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