Preterm Births in Latin Americans

April 29, 2024
Principles for Appropriate Use of Healthcare Technology
April 29, 2024
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Preterm Births in Latin Americans

Prematurity or preterm birth occurs when a child is born before the lapse of the 37th month of pregnancy. It is the most common problem in obstetric medicine in the United States. Preterm birth occurs when a baby is born before the end of the full pregnancy term.  Prematurity is associated with lifelong disabilities associated with mental abilities (Barlow, 2015). Research shows that preterm births have also been a leading factor in child mortality rates across the world. The paper will focus attention on preterm birth in the Latin American population.

In the U.S., Latin Americans are the largest minority group and growing fast in population. The increase in this demographic is due to the high fertility rates among the Latin American women; one in every four life births in America is to a Latin American woman (March of Dimes, 2019). According to the Healthy People 2020 (Objective MICH-9.1), for all the live births among Latin American women, 9.6% are born preterm. The figure is 9.5% higher than the set standard set by the Heathy People organization.

Latin American women of childbearing age are more susceptible to socioeconomic risks than non-Latin Americans which increases the likelihood of preterm births. Latin American mothers are almost twice more likely to be under 18 years than Non-Latin American mothers which increases the possibility of preterm births. The group also is also susceptible to preterm births as they are likely to be uninsured and therefore cannot seek medical services (Alvarado and Ahumada, 2016).

It is important to create a health education plan for this population to reduce the numbers of preterm births. Policy recommendations to provide affordable healthcare, advance the understanding of preterm births and expand group prenatal care would be helpful in reducing the numbers of Latin-American preterm babies.


Ahumada-Barrios, M. E.-B. (2016). Risk Factors for premature birth in a hospital. Revista Latino-Americana de Enfermagem, 1-8.

Healthy People. (2017). Preterm Births (MICH-9.1). Retrieved August 5, 2020, from Healthy People 2020:

Jane Barlow, S. D. (2015). An Evidence-Based, Pre-Birth Assessment Pathway for Vulnerable Pregnant Women. British Journal of Sociol Work. 46(4), 1-14.

March of Dimes. (2019). 2019 March of Dimes Report Card. New York: March of Dimes.