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Annu Rev Public Health. 2012 Apr;33:75-87. doi: 10.1146/annurev-publhealth-031811-124542. Epub 2012 Jan 3.

Disparities in infant mortality and effective, equitable care: are infants suffering from benign neglect?

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Department of Maternal and Child Health, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7445, USA.


Quality care for infant mortality disparity elimination requires services that improve health status at both the individual and the population level. We examine disparity reduction due to effective care and ask the following question: Has clinical care ameliorated factors that make some populations more likely to have higher rates of infant mortality compared with other populations? Disparities in postneonatal mortality due to birth defects have emerged for non-Hispanic black and Hispanic infants. Surfactant and antenatal steroid therapy have been accompanied by growing disparities in respiratory distress syndrome mortality for black infants. Progesterone therapy has not reduced early preterm birth, the major contributor to mortality disparities among non-Hispanic black and Puerto Rican infants. The Back to Sleep campaign has minimally reduced SIDS disparities among American Indian/Alaska Native infants, but it has not reduced disparities among non-Hispanic black infants. In general, clinical care is not equitable and contributes to increasing disparities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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