The gap in stillbirth rates between indigenous and non-indigenous women in Queensland, Australia, is closing, however indigenous women are still at risk of stillbirth due to preventable causes, find researchers in a new study published today (3 September) in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (BJOG).
The Australian study used data from the Queensland Perinatal Data Collection and looked at 881,211 singleton births from 1995 to 2011. It aimed to assess the differences in stillbirth rates over time among indigenous (Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) and non-indigenous women based on their location and gestational age.
Of the total number of births, 49,450 (5.6%) were to indigenous women and 831,761 (94.4%) were to non-indigenous women. There were 5,425 stillbirths overall.
The paper found that over the study period, the stillbirth rate for all women in Queensland was 6.2 per 1000 pregnancies. They found that indigenous stillbirth rates decreased 31.9% from 13.3 to 9.1 per 1000 pregnancies while for non-indigenous women the rate was steady around 5.9 per 1000 pregnancies.
Overall, the difference in stillbirth rates between indigenous and non-indigenous women reduced by 57.3%. Moreover, indigenous women living in regional and remote areas experienced greater reductions than women in urban areas.
The researchers looked specifically at geographical location and found that stillbirth rates among indigenous women decreased by 10.2%, 29.2% and 49.9% for women living in urban, regional and remote areas respectively. In comparison, the stillbirth rates for non-indigenous women increased by 0.9% and 11.4% for women living in urban and regional areas and decreased by 39.2% for those in remote areas.
Looking at gestational age, the study found that among indigenous women stillbirth rates decreased the most, 69.1%, for births between 28 and 36 weeks gestation. Am
|Contact: Nicole Weingartner|