Race and ethnicity have been associated with poor pregnancy outcomes in many countries. In the UK, the rates of baby death and stillbirth among Black and Asian mothers are double those for White women. Most studies examine trends for individual countries. This large database study explored how race and ethnicity is linked to pregnancy outcomes in wealthy countries.
- Black women consistently had worse outcomes than White women across the globe.
- Hispanic women were three times more likely to experience baby death compared with White women.
- South Asian women had an increased risk of early birth and having a baby with an unexpectedly low weight (small for the length of pregnancy) compared with White women.
- Racial disparities in some outcomes were found in all regions.
The researchers call for a global, joined-up approach to tackling disparities. Breaking down barriers to care for ethnic minorities, particularly Black women, could help. More research is needed to understand why outcomes are for worse for ethnic minorities. The researchers recommend routine collection of data on race and ethnicity.
The link below takes you to the Plain English summary of the research, you can also view the full research study.