Individual and County-Level Factors Associated with Racial Disparities in Cause-Specific Infant Mortality: Florida, 1980-2000

Jessica C. Bishop, Florida State University
Isaac W. Eberstein, Florida State University

The racial disparity in infant mortality persisted throughout the twentieth century, despite overall improvements in infant mortality rates. One way to examine racial differences in infant death is by examining cause-specific infant mortality. The justification for such an approach lies in etiology, where maternal characteristics such as age and education and where community characteristics such as poverty and rurality exert differential influence on various causes of death and thus the racial disparity in infant mortality. This investigation uses linked birth-infant death files and multilevel statistical models to examine the individual and county level determinants of cause-specific infant mortality by race in Florida at two points in time, 1980 and 2000. Attention is given both to the cross sectional relationships and to the changes in relationships over this period which is characterized by increasingly effective new medical technology and the regionalization of the neonatal health care system within the state.

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Presented in Poster Session 3