David and Messer (2011) reported on a study by the National Institutes of Health that revealed the rate of infant mortality among African American women living within walking distance of the Capitol was 23.9 per 1,000 live births in 1989 1991 slightly worse than rates during the same time period in Panama and Sri Lanka. Access to prenatal care, the norm for the middle and upper classes, was lacking for this group. Family support, a non-medical factor, was also shown to be generally lacking for the lowest socioeconomic group. Studies have shown that there is a higher rate of obesity among the lower socioeconomic classes (Kanaya, Santoyo-Olsosson, Gregorich, Grossman, Moore, and Stewart, 2012).. Obesity can lead to debilitating or even deadly conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Overweight children with poor eating habits are likely to grow into overweight adults with poor eating habits; without education, they do not know how to make positive changes. In addition to the often higher costs of healthier food choices, it also costs money to join a gym or even play school
It should be noted that these services vary according to population needs, with some studies even indicating that services vary based on the racial background of the participants (Evans, Labbok, & Abrahams 2011). This should be a cause for concern, and discrepancies in services provided must be avoided to limit further disparities. Data from the Centers for Disease Control (2016) found that in 2010, the rates for breastfeeding initiation was 74% for Native American women, which was lower than other groups. In order to better combat breastfeeding disparities, the WIC program continues to tailor their breastfeeding support services to achieve the Healthy People 2020 goals by increasing the number of trained staff, holding community involvement sessions, and constructing additional educational components.
The United States is a melting pot of cultural diversity. For a country that was founded by individuals fleeing persecution, it has taken us many years to grant African-Americans equal rights, and even longer for those rights to be recognized. Despite all the effort to eliminate inequality in this country, health disparity among this minority group remains a significant issue. Research in this area has pointed to several key reasons for this gap that center on differences in culture, socioeconomics, and lack of health literacy.
The health of a nation plays an integral part in the overall success and economic well being of a particular country. The United Stated, while pouring more money into the healthcare system than any other country, still stands as a broken system with inadequate care for many citizens. One of the most marginalized groups of people, African American women, continually score alarmingly low on basic measures of overall health. The healthcare discrepancies between white and black women in the United States are alarming, and they reveal flaws in the American health care system as a whole.
Infant mortality rate constitutes the death of a baby before their first birthday. Mortality rates around the world differ tremendously with America leading the first world countries at an alarming rate of 6.1 deaths per 1,000 births. Conversely, Finland and Japan secure the last, most desirable position, with deaths totaling 2.3 per 1,000 births, as of 2010. (Ovaska-Few, 2015) In 2014, over 23,000 babies died in the United States. (CDC, 2016) Exploring the mortality rates in America brings light to a dire need for additional interventions and research as to why this developing nation has the highest rate of infant deaths before the age of 1 year old. African Americans face the worst outcomes of infant death compared to whites, Latino, and their Native American peers in North Carolina. (Ovaska-Few, 2015) This paper will explore why African American are the leading race for infant mortality and the steps that health communities need to take to address this devastating occurrence.
“Compared with European Americans, African American infants experience disproportionately high rates of low birth weight (LBW) and preterm delivery and are more than twice as likely to die during their 1st year of life”(Giscombé, C. L., & Lobel, M., 2005). The infant mortality rate for African Americans is 13.7 deaths per 1000 live births, more than twice the rate (5.7) for White Americans in the U.S. (Kung, Hoyert, Xu, & Murphy, 2008). A lot of the racial disparity in infant mortality can be explained by low birthweight and preterm delivery, which are also disproportionately and often experienced by African Americans (Martin et al., 2007).
Major disparities continue to exist in spite of America’s “Affordable Care Act”, Although minorities suffer disease five times greater than the rest of the nation, minorities represent the majority of the disparity. Infant Mortality has always been America’s indicator as to the state of the countries health status. America is one of the wealthiest and most powerful nations in the world, However, America ranks number 24th in the world for infant mortality. Puerto Rican and Indian women rank highest among ethnic classes with low infant mortality rates. Some researchers have found lack of prenatal access as the key contributing factor to low mortality and birth weights among these two ethnic classes.
Death and illnesses among women, infant, and child are preventable. In pregnancy, existing health risks can distinguish or prevent any future health problems for women and their children. According to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2016), some high-risk factors that may consider are the following: hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, depression, genetic conditions, sexually transmitted diseases, tobacco and alcohol abuse, inadequate nutrition and unhealthy weight. By having this government Healthy 2020 initiative, factors that can affect the pregnancy and childbirth such as poverty,
Receiving good prenatal care is extremely important for an expecting mother. The prenatal period has a great impact on the newborn's health. Low birth weight is a problem among a certain population of newborns. It is crucial to understand the conditions in poverty and its
Health disparities undoubtedly exist among different racial groups with Healthy People 2020 identifying reducing racial gaps and infant mortality as a critical objective (Loggins & Andrade, 2013). Black children are reportedly two times more likely to die during their first year of life than white children (Huffington Post). Furthermore, the overall infant mortality rate is 6 deaths per 1,000 births, but for African American infants the mortality rate is 13.31 deaths per 1,000 births (CDC). There have been many medical advances, such as prescreening to find health issues that contribute to health disparities, but each racial group still do not benefit equally.
Reduced infant disparities; patients have lower rates of low birth rate (U.S. low income low birth rate percentage 8.2% vs Health Centers 7.5%).
Discuss disparities related to ethnic and cultural groups relative to low birth weight infants and preterm births.
Healthcare access is a major public policy initiative to improve mothers and children's health access and utilization which began with Medicaid expansions in the 1980s and then came along (CHIP) Children’s Health Insurance Program in 1997. Greater access to prenatal care provided by Medicaid has not contributed to the declines in infant health disparities (Dubay, Joyce, Kaestner, & Kenney, 2001: Epstein & Newhouse, 1998). Studies suggest that Medicaid and CHIP the expansion has contributed to the declines in most mortalities for the external causes for children 6 to 17 years of age, but has not been resulted in the decrease in the mortality diseases between the white and black children (Howell, et al., 2010). Access to high-quality health care still remains an important goal for infants, children, and young women. To get high-quality care, Maternal Child Health population needs health insurance to help cover most of their benefits when it comes to providers and
In the United States, the process of childbirth is far more dangerous for African American women than it is for White women. For African American women, the path to a healthy birth is riddled with barriers. There are many health disparities between the two races. African American women face much higher low-birth and infant mortality rates; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published that although infant mortality rates in the U.S. have dropped by over 10% in the past ten years, a large gap continues to exist between the health of the races during the entire childbirth process. (World Health Organization, 2010) In the United States, Black infants are more than twice as likely to die within the first year of life as a White infant, and this disparity has not seen advancements in the last century. Many of these deaths can be attributed to low birth weight, and preterm birth among black infants.
While some women who received no prenatal care had normal, uncomplicated births, others did not. Most of the women who did not receive adequate prenatal care gave birth to an underweight and underdeveloped infant. Among the benefits of early, comprehensive prenatal care are decreased risk of preterm deliveries and low birth weight (LBW)-both major predictors of infant morbidity and mortality. (Dixon, Cobb, Clarke, 2000). Preterm deliveries, deliveries prior to 37 weeks of gestation, have risen. Since the studies in 1987, which showed the rate of preterm deliveries as 6.9% of births, the 1997 rate shows an increase to 7.5%. Low birth weight, defined as an infant weighing less than 2500 grams (5lbs. 5oz) is often preceded by preterm delivery. Low