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01.02.2020 | Ausgabe 1/2020

Journal of Urban Health 1/2020

Neighborhood Racial/Ethnic Composition Trajectories and Black-White Differences in Preterm Birth among Women in Texas

Journal of Urban Health > Ausgabe 1/2020
Yeonwoo Kim, Shetal Vohra-Gupta, Claire E. Margerison, Catherine Cubbin
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The black-white disparity in preterm birth has been well documented in the USA. The racial/ethnic composition of a neighborhood, as a marker of segregation, has been considered as an underlying cause of the racial difference in preterm birth. However, past literature using cross-sectional measures of neighborhood racial/ethnic composition has shown mixed results. Neighborhoods with static racial/ethnic compositions over time may have different social, political, economic, and service environments compared to neighborhoods undergoing changing racial/ethnic compositions, which may affect maternal health. We extend the past work by examining the contribution of neighborhood racial/ethnic composition trajectories over 20 years to the black-white difference in preterm birth. We used natality files (N = 477,652) from birth certificates for all live singleton births to non-Hispanic black and non-Hispanic white women in Texas from 2009 to 2011 linked to the Neighborhood Change Database. We measured neighborhood racial/ethnic trajectories over 20 years. Hierarchical generalized linear models examined relationships between neighborhood racial/ethnic trajectories and preterm birth, overall and by mother’s race. Findings showed that overall, living in neighborhoods with a steady high proportion non-Hispanic black was associated with higher odds of preterm birth, compared with neighborhoods with a steady low proportion non-Hispanic black. Furthermore, while black women’s odds of preterm birth was relatively unaffected by neighborhood proportions of the Latinx or non-Hispanic white population, white women had the highest odds of preterm birth in neighborhoods characterized by a steady high proportion Latinx or a steady low proportion non-Hispanic white. Black-white differences were the highest in neighborhoods characterized by a steady high proportion white. Findings suggest that white women are most protected from preterm birth when living in neighborhoods with a steady high concentration of whites or in neighborhoods with a steady low concentration of Latinxs, whereas black women experience high rates of preterm birth regardless of proportion white or Latinx.

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