, Volume 15, Issue 1 Supplement, pp 4-16
Date: 28 Aug 2011

NIH-DC Initiative to Reduce Infant Mortality in Minority Populations in Washington, DC: History and Lessons Learned

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In the years leading up to implementation of the NIH-DC Initiative, the infant mortality rate among blacks was at least twice as high as among whites. National data (Table 1) demonstrate that while infant mortality rates were decreasing for both white and black infants, the discrepancy between the rates increased. Table 2 provides the infant mortality rate among white and black infants In Washington, DC, as well as the rate ratio. During this period, the rate for blacks in Washington, DC was higher than observed nationally for blacks and the discrepancy in rates between whites and blacks was also higher [13].

Similar disparities existed between the rates for blacks and whites for other birth outcomes related to infant mortality, such as low birth weight [4] (Tables 3, 4) and preterm delivery. Data on low and very low birth weight showed a similar pattern: the actual rates and the discrepancy in rates comparing whites and blacks were higher in Washington, DC than nationally.