Concerning increase in infant health inequality over the past decade


ISLAMABAD, December 14 (online): Researchers have found an increase in infant health inequality between educated, economically advantaged mothers and economically disadvantaged mothers without a high school degree. This suggests a reversal in the previous trend that indicated that the infant health inequity gap was narrowing.
“Babies who are born prematurely are at risk of cardiovascular disease and increased high blood pressure that can persist into adulthood.”
Additional research shows that a low birth weight or preterm birth can lead to cognitive delays, behavioral issues, and a lower likelihood of attaining higher education and gainful employment.
The team found data indicating a reversal of a pre-2010 infant health trend that showed that the health gap between infants born to married, highly educated white mothers and those born to unmarried Black mothers without a high school degree had steadily narrowed.
The study authors noticed a possible shift in trends while analyzing data on how a mother’s education level impacts infant health, along with previous information on the impact of maternal race.
To investigate further, they examined 22 million U.S. births using administrative birth certificate data from 1989 to 2018. They identified gaps in infant health categorized by the mother’s race, marital status, and educational level.
The researchers also gathered data on infant health gaps between economically advantaged mothers and those who were the most financially disadvantaged.