Significant health disparities exist in the United States with regard to infant mortality, a sensitive indicator of a nation’s health. The US has one of the highest infant mortality rates among OECD countries at nearly 6 infant deaths for every 1,000 live births. The rate for Black Americans (11.11 per 1,000) is more than double the rate for White Americans (5.06 per 1,000). Black American women are at higher risk of experiencing risk factors for infant mortality including preterm birth, low birthweight, and prenatal stress. The experience of racism from childhood through adulthood (personal experiences, vicarious experiences, and institutionalized structural racism) is likely a significant contributor to the disparity in infant mortality. This paper reviews the evidence for this and examines racism as a public heath issue.Faculty Sponsor: Disa Lubker Cornish

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