Objective:To determine whether race/ethnicity and sex independently increase risk of respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) in late preterm and term infants.Study Design:Using a cohort design, we studied the risk of RDS associated with race/ethnicity and sex in infants with gestational age (GA) 34 to 42 weeks born between 1 January 2000 and 31 December 2009 (n286 454) within 12 hospitals in the Northern California Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program.Result:Male sex (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1.68; 95% confidence interval 1.45 to 1.93) and White race/ethnicity (vs Asians (aOR 0.57; 95% confidence interval 0.47 to 0.70), Blacks (aOR 0.66; 95% confidence interval 0.50 to 0.87), and Hispanics (aOR 0.76; 95% confidence interval 0.64 to 0.90)) independently increase risk for RDS regardless of GA. A GA 39 weeks, operative delivery, maternal diabetes, and chorioamnionitis also increased RDS risk in this cohort.Conclusion:Male sex and White race/ethnicity independently increase risk for RDS in late preterm and term infants. Timing of elective delivery should acknowledge these risks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)780-785
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Perinatology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2012


  • late preterm infants
  • neonatal respiratory
  • respiratory distress syndrome
  • term infants


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