Perinatal and infant health among rural and urban American Indians/Alaska Natives

Am J Public Health. 2002 Sep;92(9):1491-7. doi: 10.2105/ajph.92.9.1491.


Objectives: We sought to provide a national profile of rural and urban American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) maternal and infant health.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study of all 1989-1991 singleton AI/AN births to US residents, we compared receipt of an inadequate pattern of prenatal care, low birthweight (< 2500 g), infant mortality, and cause of death for US rural and urban AI/AN and non-AI/AN populations.

Results: Receipt of an inadequate pattern of prenatal care was significantly higher for rural than for urban mothers of AI/AN infants (18.1% vs 14.4%, P </=.001); rates for both groups were over twice that for Whites (6.8%). AI/AN postneonatal death rates (rural = 6.7 per 1000; urban = 5.4 per 1000) were more than twice that of Whites (2.6 per 1000).

Conclusions: Preventable disparities between AI/ANs and Whites in maternal and infant health status persist.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alaska / epidemiology
  • Cause of Death
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American / statistics & numerical data*
  • Infant
  • Infant Mortality*
  • Infant Welfare / ethnology*
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Inuits / statistics & numerical data*
  • National Center for Health Statistics, U.S.
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Care / standards
  • Public Health
  • Risk Factors
  • Rural Health*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Urban Health*