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Ethnic variations in birth outcomes and infant mortality in England and wales, 2006-2012

Principal investigator
Jennifer Hollowell (NPEU (Former member))
Ron Gray (NPEU (Former member)), Jenny Kurinczuk (NPEU), Maria Quigley (NPEU)
Socioeconomic and ethnic inequalities, Stillbirth and infant death
DH - Policy Research Programme
Start year
End year
NPEU Contact
Maria Quigley


Previous analyses have found marked variations in infant mortality between ethnic groups in England and Wales (See NPEU Infant Mortality Briefing Paper 3). This project will use more recent data to update the analysis of ethnic variations in infant mortality and will extend the analysis to cover a wider range of maternal and perinatal/infant outcomes, including preterm birth, low birthweight and sudden unexplained deaths in infancy (SUDI). Using ONS birth and death registration data linked to NN4B data on ethnicity we will describe variations in these outcomes by ethnic group and further explore the effect of factors such as deprivation, migration status and gestational age that may contribute to these variations.

Specific objectives of the study are:

  • To describe ethnic variations in infant mortality (overall, by timing of death and by cause) and other birth outcomes (including preterm birth, birthweight, small for gestational age (SGA), large for gestational age (LGA)).
  • To explore the individual and joint effects of ethnicity, area deprivation (Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD)) and migration status (UK vs. non-UK born) on these outcomes.
  • To describe ethnic variations in the incidence of sudden unexplained death in infancy (SUDI) and to explore the extent to which these variations are attributable to other factors such as preterm birth.
  • To describe ethnic and socioeconomic variations in infant mortality folowing preterm birth.

Information for parents and the public about the data used for this project can be found here.


Journal Articles