Physician Race/Ethnicity and African American Women’s Reproductive Health

Angela Clague , University of California, Los Angeles
Julien O. Teitler, Columbia University
Rayven Plaza, Columbia University
Kayuet Liu, University of California, Los Angeles

African American women in the United States are 3.4 times more likely to die during pregnancy, 2.3 times more likely to have a fetal loss, and 1.6 times more likely to have a preterm birth when compared with non-Hispanic white women. We use a population-wide dataset from New Jersey with information on individual births, hospitals, and physicians for the years 1997 to 2011 to evaluate the potential effects of the attending physician’s race/ethnicity in maternal and infant health outcomes among ~150,000 African American mothers. We approximate physician’s race/ethnicity using data from the Census Bureau on frequently occurring surnames for the years 2000 and 2010. Using logistic regression, we present preliminary results for the following outcomes: preeclampsia, prolonged labor, maternal death, low birthweight, fetal distress and infant jaundice. Our results provide support that the matching of physicians and patients race/ethnicity could affect conditions that are more prevalent among African American mothers.

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 Presented in Session 5. Health & Mortality 1