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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2009 Nov;201(5):469.e1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2009.06.057. Epub 2009 Sep 17.

Racial disparities in stillbirth risk across gestation in the United States.

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  • 1Center for Developmental Biology and Perinatal Medicine, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.



We sought to determine factors associated with racial disparities in stillbirth risk.


Stillbirth hazard was analyzed using 5,138,122 singleton gestations from the National Center of Health Statistics perinatal mortality and birth files, 2001-2002.


Black women have a 2.2-fold increased risk of stillbirth compared with white women. The black/white disparity in stillbirth hazard at 20-23 weeks is 2.75, decreasing to 1.57 at 39-40 weeks. Higher education reduced the hazard for whites more than for blacks and Hispanics. Medical, pregnancy, and labor complications accounted for 30% of the hazard in blacks and 20% in whites and Hispanics. Congenital anomalies and small for gestational age contributed more to preterm stillbirth risk among whites than blacks. Pregnancy and labor conditions contributed more to preterm stillbirth risk among blacks than whites.


The excess stillbirth risk for blacks was greatest at preterm gestations, and factors contributing to stillbirth risk vary by race and gestational age.

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  • The study of stillbirth. [Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2009]
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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