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Stillbirth rate high for black and Asian babies in UK

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Stillbirth rates remain "exceptionally high" for black and Asian babies in the UK, a report examining baby loss in 2019 has found.

The figures come despite improving numbers overall, with some 610 fewer stillbirths in 2019 than in 2013.

The MBBRACE-UK report found babies of mothers living in deprived areas are at higher risk of stillbirths and neonatal deaths than those in other places.

Charities say there is an urgent need to tackle inequalities around birth.

There were some 2,399 stillbirths (a death occurring before or during birth once a pregnancy has reached 24 weeks) and 1,158 neonatal deaths (babies who die in the first 28 days of life) in the UK in 2019.

The report, by the Universities of Leicester and Oxford, found:

  • Overall stillbirth rates fell from 4.2 per 1,000 births in 2013 to 3.35 per 1,000 births in 2019
  • For babies of black and black British ethnicity, stillbirth rates were 7.23 per 1,000 births
  • For babies of Asian and Asian British ethnicity, stillbirth rates were 5.05 per 1,000 births
  • For babies of white ethnicity, stillbirth rates were 3.22 per 1,000 births.

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Source: BBC News, 15 October 2021

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