Differences in neonatal mortality by race, income, and prenatal care.

James W Collins Jr, R. J. David

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


To determine the extent to which the social and physical environment affects the association between prenatal care and black pregnancy outcome in Chicago, we performed a stratified analysis of 1982-1983 Illinois vital records and 1980 United States census income data. Median family income of the mother's census tract was used as the ecologic variable. In very-low-income census tracts (less than $10,000 per year), 40% of blacks and 47% of whites received adequate prenatal care. There was no racial disparity in the percentage of low-birth-weight infants attributed to inadequate prenatal care among poor mothers. For mothers who resided in moderate-income areas ($20,001 to $30,000 per year), 50% of blacks and 67% of whites received adequate prenatal care. Although adequate (compared to inadequate) prenatal care was associated with improved birthweight distribution independent of community income, only in moderate-income areas was it related to black neonatal survival. For term black infants who received adequate prenatal care, residence in impoverished areas was associated with a nearly fourfold greater neonatal mortality rate (deaths per 1000 live births): 5/1000 vs 1/1000; RR = 3.8 (1.3-11.0). We conclude that place of residence is an important risk factor for black neonatal mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-26
Number of pages9
JournalEthnicity & disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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