Preterm Birth; Black Women; Posttraumatic Stress Disorder; Racial Discrimination
Maternal and Child Health | Mental and Social Health
Among African American infants, preterm birth (PTB) is the most frequent cause of infant mortality. In the United States, there remains a stark African American-Non-Hispanic White difference in PTB (< 37 weeks of completed gestation). When compared to Non-Hispanic White infants, African American infants have greater than three times the risk of preterm-related mortality. Prior research studies have examined whether traditional prenatal risk factors explain the African American-Non-Hispanic White difference in PTB. However identification of these factors fails to explain the disparity. The lack of progress in addressing the African American - Non-Hispanic White difference in PTB suggests that exposures to risk factors across the life-course may be vital to addressing the African American-Non-Hispanic White difference in PTB. One potential life-course risk exposure is racial discrimination, which has been shown to influence the increased risk of PTB among African American women. However, research is needed to reveal the mechanisms that underlie the association between racial discrimination and PTB. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be one potential mechanism by which African American women's exposure to racial discrimination contributes to increased risk of PTB. This concept paper strives to advance our understanding of the increased risk of PTB among African American women. Recommendations are suggested to mitigate the impact of racial discrimination and PTSD on the PTB risk among African American women.
Gavin, Amelia; Grote, Nancy; Conner, Kyaien; and Fentress, Taurmini
"Racial Discrimination and Preterm Birth among African American Women: The Important Role of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder,"
Journal of Health Disparities Research and Practice: Vol. 11:
4, Article 6.
Available at: https://digitalscholarship.unlv.edu/jhdrp/vol11/iss4/6