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Reports on Selected Racial/Ethnic Groups Special Focus: Maternal and Child Health Foreword

Dynamic changes are occurring in the demographic structure of the U.S. population. Nowhere are these changes more dramatic than in the growth of certain racial/ethnic population groups. These changes, particularly as they relate to children, hold profound implications for our nation's health. Because children are our future, ensuring the health of children guarantees a healthy America. As Surgeon General, I place the highest priority on monitoring and improving the health status of all children and their mothers. Today, more than ever before, we must focus our attention on the morbidity and mortality among the increasing numbers of minority children and mothers in the United States. For example, the life expectancy of black women is almost 5 years less than that of white women. Hispanic and black women and children have a seven to 13 times higher rate of AIDS than white women and children. And low birth weight rates continue to be twice as great among blacks as they are among whites. The reports in this issue of MMWR Surveillance Summaries focus on major topics of public health surveillance among minority women and children. Timely identification of risk factors, documentation of mortality differences, and the demonstration of the need for prevention programs are essential if we are to succeed in reducing the burden of disease and injury among these groups. As public health practitioners, we must continue to strengthen our efforts to conduct effective surveillance of the health status of U.S. racial/ethnic minority groups. Antonia C. Novello, M.D., M.P.H. Surgeon General

Disclaimer   All MMWR HTML documents published before January 1993 are electronic conversions from ASCII text into HTML. This conversion may have resulted in character translation or format errors in the HTML version. Users should not rely on this HTML document, but are referred to the original MMWR paper copy for the official text, figures, and tables. An original paper copy of this issue can be obtained from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), Washington, DC 20402-9371; telephone: (202) 512-1800. Contact GPO for current prices.

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