The objective of this study was to investigate inequalities in stillbirth rates by ethnicity to facilitate development of initiatives to target those at highest risk. Findings suggest that stillbirth rates declined in the UK, but substantial excess risk of stillbirth persists among babies of black and Asian ethnicities. The combined disadvantage for black, Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnicities who are more likely to live in most deprived areas is associated with considerably higher rates. Key causes of death were congenital anomalies and placental causes. Improved strategies for investigation of stillbirth causes are needed to reduce unexplained deaths so that interventions can be targeted to reduce stillbirths.


  1. Knight M , Bunch K , Tuffnell D . Saving Lives, Improving Mothers' Care - Lessons learned to inform maternity care from the UK and Ireland Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths and Morbidity 2015-17. National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, University of Oxford: Oxford, 2019.

  2. Flenady V , Wojcieszek AM , Middleton P , et al . Stillbirths: recall to action in high-income countries. Lancet 2016;387:691–702.

  3. Zeitlin J , Mortensen L , Prunet C , et al . Socioeconomic inequalities in stillbirth rates in Europe: measuring the gap using routine data from the Euro-Peristat project. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 2016;16:15.


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