Racial, age, and community level maternal disparities at an academic health center

Candace N Holloway, Gordon Lee Gillespie, Beth Ann Clayton


Objective: Racial and ethnic minority women experience more maternal deaths and comorbid illnesses than non-Hispanic White women. The purpose of the current study was to identify if maternal health disparities exist at an urban academic health center.

Methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted of a systematic random sample of women who delivered a child in 2017. The study setting was an urban academic health center Level III neonatal intensive care unit serving a high percentage of racial minority patients. Data were analyzed using relative risks (RR) with 95% confidence intervals.

Results: Findings reflect an increased risk for maternal complications for minority and older aged women. Specifically, risk was higher for Black (RR: 3.818) and Hispanic/Latino (RR: 2.354) women compared to non-Hispanic White women for cesarean section and for older women (age 35 years or older) compared to younger women for cesarean section (RR: 2.671) and preeclampsia (RR: 3.422). While White, non-Hispanic women did not incur pre-eclampsia or hemorrhage with intervention, minority women did experience these maternal complications.

Conclusions: Maternal health inequities exist within this sample of women giving birth at an academic health center. Healthcare providers can conduct self-assessments to determine their implicit biases that may be contributing to health disparities.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/ijh.v7n2p42


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International Journal of Healthcare  ISSN 2377-7338(Print)  ISSN 2377-7346(Online)

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