Publications

Black/White Differences in Women’s Reproductive-Related Health Status: Evidence from Vital Statistics

Maternal-age-specific neonatal mortality risk differs by race, with the mid-20s risk low for whites but not blacks. This may be partially due to worsening health for black relative to white women. We analyzed deaths to young women in the aggregate and classified by causes that are also pregnancy risk factors. Over the predominant child-bearing ages, mortality increases for blacks exceeded those for whites, usually by at least 25%. These indicators that black/white health differences widen as women progress through young adulthood suggest that such discrepancies may play a role in the black/white infant mortality differential, which merits further research.