Persistent Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Supine Sleep Positioning among US Preterm Infants, 2000-2015

J Pediatr. 2021 Jun;233:51-57.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2021.02.070. Epub 2021 Mar 4.


Objective: To assess trends in racial disparity in supine sleep positioning (SSP) across racial/ethnic groups of infants born early preterm (Early preterm; <34 weeks) and late preterm (Late preterm; 34-36 weeks) from 2000 to 2015.

Study design: We analyzed Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System data (a population-based perinatal surveillance system) from 16 US states from 2000 to 2015 (Weighted N = 1 020 986). Marginal prevalence of SSP by year was estimated for infants who were early preterm and late preterm, adjusting for maternal and infant characteristics. After stratifying infants who were early preterm and late preterm, we compared the aOR of SSP trends across racial/ethnic groups by testing the time-race interaction.

Results: From 2000 to 2015, Non-Hispanic Black infants had lower odds of SSP compared with Non-Hispanic White infants for early preterm (aOR 0.61; 95% CI 0.47-0.78) and late preterm (aOR 0.44; 95% CI 0.34-0.56) groups. For Hispanic infants, there was no statistically significant difference for either preterm group when compared with Non-Hispanic White infants. aOR of SSP increased (on average) annually by 10.0%, 7.3%, and 7.7%, respectively, in Non-Hispanic White, Non-Hispanic Black, and Hispanic early preterm infants and by 5.8%, 5.9%, and 4.8% among Non-Hispanic White, Non-Hispanic Black, and Hispanic late preterm infants. However, there were no significant between-group differences in annual changes (Early preterm: P = .11; Late preterm: P = .25).

Conclusions: SSP increased for all racial/ethnic preterm groups from 2000 to 2015. However, the racial/ethnic disparity in SSP among early preterm and late preterm groups persists.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Continental Population Groups / statistics & numerical data*
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature*
  • Marital Status
  • Maternal Age
  • Mothers
  • Population Surveillance
  • Sleep*
  • Supine Position*
  • United States / epidemiology