Racial Disparities in Preterm Birth among Pregnant Women with Obesity

Anuoluwapo Egbejimi, Veronica Ajewole, Deepa Dongarwar, Manvir Kaur, Motun Phillips, Jian Liang, Mouch Fadel, Lilian Lota, Jeanene Simon, Matthew Otule, Kennedy Taylor, God'Salvation Oguibe, Hamisu M. Salihu, Omonike Olaleye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives We assessed the impact of obesity and racial disparities on preterm birth (PTB) in the United States and sought to determine whether obesity widens the racial-ethnic disparity gap in preterm birth with a focus on non-Hispanic Black and White women. Methods Using birth data for the years 2014-2019 made publicly available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and obtained from the National Vital Statistics System, we conducted a cross-sectional cohort study analyzing a total of 14,864,844 births from 2014 to 2019. Results We observed dose-dependent changes in obesity and PTB by defining obesity in subgroups and PTB in a stratified method. PTB occurred more among non-Hispanic Black women than their non-Hispanic White and Hispanic counterparts. We observed a consistent trend of increased PTB among women with high body mass index. Racial disparity existed in PTB among pregnant obese women, with non-Hispanic Black women exhibiting the greatest risk for PTB. Conclusions Our work further contributes to the growing knowledge of the existence of health disparity among the Black population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)471-477
Number of pages7
JournalSouthern Medical Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2023


  • birth data
  • obesity
  • preterm birth
  • racial/ethnic disparity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Racial Disparities in Preterm Birth among Pregnant Women with Obesity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this