New Study Finds Black Newborns Are Three Times More Likely To Die Under The Care Of White Doctors
We all know that in the United States, Black lives are always under threat. Few know, however, that the threat against Black lives can start at a very young age.
A new study found that Black newborns born in the United States are three times more likely to survive their births when cared for by a Black doctor. On the other hand, Black newborns cared for by white physicians are three times more likely to die.
Researchers found that Black infants are more likely to survive births led by Black doctors.
The death rate for Black infants is slashed nearly in half (39 and 58 percent) when a doctor who is Black leads the delivery.
The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published a study that found that the mortality rate for white babies is not dependent on the race of a doctor. “Strikingly, these effects appear to manifest more strongly in more complicated cases, and when hospitals deliver more Black newborns,” the authors of the study wrote. “The findings suggest that Black physicians outperform their White colleagues when caring for Black newborns.”
Researchers behind the study examined data from 1.8 million Florida birth records from 1992 to 2015.
The researchers paired the births with the race of the doctors involved.
The study lines up with a 2019 report from the Centers for Disease Control that revealed that Black newborns are two times more likely to die before their first birthday than white babies.
Studies have found that the U.S. mortality rate for Black women giving birth is particularly high for a developed country. As of 2018, the mortality rate for Black pregnant women was 37.1 per 100,000 live births. That’s three times the rate of maternal deaths related to non-Hispanic white and Hispanic women.
Researches involved in the study, are now urging hospitals to analyze their racial biases and health practices.
“Taken with this work, it gives warrant for hospitals and other care organizations to invest in efforts to reduce such biases and explore their connection to institutional racism,” the researchers explained. “Reducing racial disparities in newborn mortality will also require raising awareness among physicians, nurses, and hospital administrators about the prevalence of racial and ethnic disparities.”
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