Social determinants of health in preterm birth of non-Hispanic Black women

January 28, 2021
Lindsey Carr

Associate Editor for Contemporary OB/GYN

This article is on based on information presented at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine’s 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting, which will be held from Jan. 25 to Jan. 30.

For more information and registration details, visit SMFM.org.

Non-Hispanic Black women with less social support, less access to recreational space in their neighborhoods, less joy and resilience, and those with food insecurity had an increased risk of preterm birth, according to a nested case-control study presented at SMFM’s 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting.

The social determinants that differed between preterm and full-term Black mothers were indicators of social, emotional, and financial support, joy and resilience, early prenatal care and neighborhood green spaces.

The study analyzed social determinants of health in 261 postpartum Black women at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center from 2011 to 2020, collecting sociodemographic, pregnancy and infant outcome data from medical records. Participants’ health, physical environment, social support and structural drivers were obtained via structured interviews.

Researchers found that approximately 40 women (14.5%) had a preterm birth at 37 weeks or less. Food insecurity, dust or mold in the home, and the feeling that someone else was making decisions for them without consultation were associated with an increased risk of preterm birth.