Rising Dangerous Birth Complications For Latinas!
Excerpt HuffPost US:
As the Trump administration’s immigration enforcement tactics continue to escalate, researchers at Harvard University’s Chan School of Public Health have found that political rhetoric and policies that target specific immigrant groups may contribute to an increase in preterm births.
Harvard researchers looked at population information in New York City and found preterm births among Latinas increased from 7.7 percent before Donald Trump became a presidential nominee to 8.2 percent after his inauguration. The increase was most dramatic among Latinas born in Mexico and Central America, whose preterm birth rates rose from 7.3 percent to 8.4 percent.
Babies born preterm, or before 37 weeks of gestation, not only have a higher risk of early death but can suffer from numerous health and developmental problems. And prematurity is the global leading cause of death among children under the age of 5, according to the World Health Organization.
The study details some of the rhetoric and policies that might have fomented severe stress among Latinas ― beginning with Trump describing immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border as drug-carrying criminals and rapists in his first presidential campaign speech in 2015. Since his inauguration, the president and his administration have also pushed for a border wall, separated thousands of children from their parents at the border and intensified deportation and detention efforts.
Preterm births can be a result of a variety of factors ― including social and economic characteristics, infection and stress. Dr. Cynthia Gyamfi-Bannerman, co-director of Columbia University’s preterm birth prevention center, told HuffPost that stress is undoubtedly related to preterm birth but that the observational aspect of the study makes it difficult to fully link preterm births to the election itself.
Krieger said that while the study does lack data on possible confounding factors, it’s unlikely the risk increases observed are related to social, demographic or medical factors because of the short time frame of observation.
Kreiger recommends physicians or nurse practitioners providing care for women at risk of preterm births understand the importance of offering the necessary emotional and social support. But she also said there’s a need for more general awareness about how hate crimes or policies that target certain groups can have adverse effects on health.