Residential segregation, political representation, and preterm birth among U.S.- and foreign-born Black women in the U.S. 2008–2010

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Although racial residential segregation is associated with preterm birth (PTB) among non-Hispanic black (NHB) women in the U.S., prior work suggests that increased black political power arising from segregation may be protective for infant health. We examined associations between residential segregation, black political representation, and preterm birth (PTB) among U.S- and foreign-born NHB women in major U.S. cities using birth certificate data from 2008 to 2010 (n=861,450). Each 10-unit increase in segregation was associated with 3–6% increases in odds of PTB for both U.S.- and foreign-born NHB women. Black political representation was not associated with PTB and did not moderate the association between residential segregation and PTB.

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