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If A=B, and B=C, does A=C? Well, not always, but in the case of stress, racism and preterm birth, one researcher thinks there’s a definitive case to be made.

The jarring statistics are already out there: African-American women are three to four times more likely to experience a pregnancy-related death than white women. Additionally, African-American women are nearly twice as likely to give birth prematurely as white women, which leads to low birth weight, believed to be responsible for nearly 20 percent of infant deaths. Finally, black infants are twice as likely to die as white babies in the United States.