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Child health
Quality of care in the delivery hospital contributes to racial disparities in outcomes for low-risk newborns
  1. Kristine Schmitz1,
  2. Lawrence Charles Kleinman1,2
  1. 1 Pediatrics, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Department of Pediatrics, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA
  2. 2 Urban-Global Public Health, Rutgers School of Public Health, Piscataway, NJ, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Lawrence Charles Kleinman, Population Health, Quality, and Implementation Sciences (PopQuIS), Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Department of Pediatrics, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA; larry.kleinman{at}

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Commentary on: Glazer KB, Zeitlin J, Egorova NN, et al. Hospital quality of care and racial and ethnic disparities in unexpected newborn complications. Pediatrics 2021;148:e2020024091. doi:10.1542/peds.2020-024091.

Implications for practice and research

  • Black and Hispanic infants suffer unexpected neonatal complications more than Asian and white children, in part because of the quality of care in the hospital of delivery.

  • Improving quality of care at the delivering hospital for women and infants can improve outcomes and reduce racial and ethnic disparities in otherwise healthy term infants.


Equity is intrinsic to quality, yet neonatal disparities persist. Glazer et al 1 describes associations between race/ethnicity, hospital of birth and ‘unexpected newborn complications’ in low-risk term neonates in New York City.


Using 2010–2014 vital statistics and discharge data, Glazer et al 1 identified births at low risk for complications. Various logistic regression models estimated adjusted ORs …

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  • Competing interests Neither KS nor LK has competing conflicts of interest. LK has ongoing collaborations with author Howell and has worked with Egorova, Zeitlin, Barbieri and Hebert. He was not involved in this project.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.