The Journal of Women’s Health recently published an article that shed a huge beam of light on the gap between health care for minorities and non-minorities. According to the report, minorities face increased risk of infant mortality compared to non-minority families. The increased risk is thought to be associated with several factors, including pre-pregnancy health, access to health care and prenatal/postnatal health care. Minority women also have less access to education on the risks factors associated with smoking, drinking, drug use and obesity during pregnancy.
Is the Difference in Infant Mortality Really Statistically Significant?
Yes, the numbers are quite convincing. The report claimed at least one risk factor was present in more than 50% of the minority women. At least 20% had two or more risk factors that could affect infant mortality rates.
Health care is available to extremely low income women who are pregnant and have no other form of health care, but there is a gap in health care coverage. Not all women fall within the income guidelines for free state health insurance, but they don’t have adequate insurance in place or may have no insurance at all. These women may be the ones most affected, though researchers did not touch on the health care topic in general.
The most important thing readers can take from the article is the fact that there is a clear line between races and economic levels. Minority women and poor women are giving birth to infants who have a higher risk of death and that is preventable. With proper education and health care support, women can give birth to health infants and understand how to care for those infants to best lower infant mortality rates.
Source: Journal of Women’s Health. July 13, 2012.