Racial and ethnic disparities in perinatal mortality: Applying the perinatal periods of risk model to identify areas for intervention

Melanie Besculides, Fabienne Laraque

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Objectives: To determine the feto-infant mortality rate for New York City, assess racial/ethnic variations and identify areas for intervention using the Perinatal Periods of Risk (PPOR) approach. Methods: The PPOR model examines fetal and infant deaths by age at death (fetal, neonatal, postneonatal) and birthweight (500-1,499, ≥1,500 g). It groups age at death and birthweight into four categories to identify problems hypothesized to lead to the death: factors related to Maternal Health and Prematurity, Maternal Care, Newborn Care and Infant Health. The model was applied to fetal and infant deaths occurring in New York City using Vital Records data from 1996-2000. Analysis was completed for the entire city and by race/ethnicity (white non-Hispanic, black non-Hispanic, Hispanic, Asians/Pacific Islander). Results: The overall feto-infant mortality rate was 11.5/1,000 live births plus fetal deaths. This rate varied by race/ethnicity; black non-Hispanics had a higher rate than other racial/ethnic groups. Conditions related to maternal health and prematurity were the largest contributing factors to feto-infant mortality (5.9/1,000) in New York City. Among blacks and Hispanics, problems related to maternal health and prematurity contributed a larger share than among whites and Asians/Pacific Islanders. Conclusion: The use of the PPOR approach shows that the racial/ethnic disparities in feto-infant mortality that exist in New York City are largely related to maternal health and prematurity. Interventions to reduce the feto-infant mortality rate should include preconception care and improvements in women's health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1128-1132
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the National Medical Association
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Fetal death/mortality
  • Infant death/mortality
  • Infant mortality and reduction
  • Perinatal periods of risk
  • Racial disparities and birth outcomes


Dive into the research topics of 'Racial and ethnic disparities in perinatal mortality: Applying the perinatal periods of risk model to identify areas for intervention'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this