A Comparison of Birth Outcomes Among Black, Hispanic, and Black Hispanic Women

Phylicia T. Bediako, Rhonda BeLue, Marianne M. Hillemeier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: While non-Hispanic Black populations tend to be disproportionately affected by adverse reproductive outcomes, Hispanic populations tend to demonstrate healthier birth outcomes, regardless of socioeconomic background. Little is known about birth outcomes for women who are both Black and Hispanic. We examined whether birth outcomes and risk factors for women who are both Black and Hispanic most closely resemble those of women who are only Black or Hispanic and also compared these outcomes to those for Whites.

METHODS: Using the 2013 US natality files, we examined 2,970,315 singleton births to Black Hispanic, Hispanic, Black, and White mothers. We used logistic regression to calculate predicted probabilities of low birth weight (LBW), preterm birth (PTB), or small for gestational age (SGA). Race-stratified regression analysis was used to identify the factors that significantly predicted risk for each outcome for each racial/ethnic group.

RESULTS: Black mothers had the highest prevalence and predicted probabilities of experiencing all three outcomes. Black Hispanic mothers were less likely than Black mothers and more likely than Hispanic mothers to experience each of the adverse outcomes. We also found support for racial variation in risk and protective factors for mothers in the different groups. Factors like age and education inconsistently predicted risk of experiencing the birth outcomes for all groups. Overall, Black Hispanic mothers had birth outcomes and risk factor profiles like Hispanic mothers, although they had sociodemographic characteristics and health behaviors like Black mothers.

CONCLUSIONS: Patterning of birth outcomes among Black Hispanic women suggest an intersection of risk and protective factors associated with their respective racial and ethnic identities. Additional information about sociodemographic context is needed to develop a more complete picture of how factors related to race and ethnic group membership influence Black Hispanic women's birth outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)573-582
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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