Video Abstract

Video Abstract

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Although racial and ethnic disparities in adverse birth outcomes have been well documented, it is unknown whether such disparities diminish in women who use medically assisted reproduction (MAR). We examined differences in the association between maternal race and ethnicity and adverse birth outcomes among women who conceived spontaneously and those who used MAR, including assisted reproduction technology (ART), eg, in-vitro fertilization, and also non-ART MAR, eg, fertility drugs.


We conducted a population-based retrospective cohort study using data on all singleton births (N = 7 545 805) in the United States from 2016 to 2017. The outcomes included neonatal and fetal death, preterm birth, and serious neonatal morbidity, among others. Modified Poisson regression was used to estimate adjusted rate ratios (aRR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) and to assess the interactions between race and ethnicity and mode of conception.


Overall, 93 469 (1.3%) singletons were conceived by MAR. Neonatal mortality was twofold higher among infants of non-Hispanic Black versus non-Hispanic White women in the spontaneous-conception group (aRR = 1.9, 95% CI: 1.8–1.9), whereas in the ART-conception group, neonatal mortality was more than fourfold higher in infants of non-Hispanic Black women (aRR = 4.1, 95% CI: 2.9–5.9). Racial and ethnic disparities between Hispanic versus non-Hispanic White women were also significantly larger among women who conceived using MAR with regard to preterm birth (<34 weeks) and perinatal mortality.


Compared to women who conceived spontaneously, racial and ethnic disparities in adverse perinatal outcomes were larger in women who used MAR. More research is needed to identify preventive measures for reducing risks among vulnerable women who use medically assisted reproduction.

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