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Inequalities in maternal and perinatal outcomes related to ethnicity and socioeconomic deprivation are widening. Being of Black and Asian ethnicity independently increases the risk of maternal mortality and severe morbidity, as does living in the most deprived areas. Since a higher proportion of women of Asian and Black ethnicity live in the most deprived areas, this effect is compounded. Individual risks, such as obesity, are influenced by health and cultural beliefs and behaviour, social networks and norms, the environments in which we live, and access to and experience of healthcare, which are all intertwined with ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Clinicians can listen to women's and communities needs around ethnicity, race, and social determinants of health. Clinicians can also identify and use networks of community support and promote awareness within their practice and teams. Institutions can employ and retain diverse teams, measure health equity of services and develop an anti-discriminatory institutional culture.

Original publication




Journal article


Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Reproductive Medicine

Publication Date