In the United States, health disparities related to race and ethnicity start early. A study published March 25 in JAMA Pediatrics has found very-low-birth weight and very-preterm infants are segregated by race and ethnicity in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). Black babies tend to be treated in NICUs that offer lower-quality care. Infants of Asian and Hispanic ethnicity receive care at NICUs known for best-quality care, and white infants fall in between these extremes.
The authors, from several U.S. universities and hospitals, say that the segregation in the NICU reflects broader social patterns in the United States. Indeed, NICU quality varies by geography and well as by populations treated in them. Continue reading
In an important series last year, ProPublica partnered with NPR to report on maternal deaths in the United States. In the ”Lost Mothers, Maternal Care and Preventable Death” series, ProPublica reporter Nina Martin, engagement reporter Adriana Gallardo and NPR special correspondent Renee Montagne, reported that for the past two decades maternal mortality has declined in other affluent countries while the rate of maternal deaths has been rising in the United States. Here’s a link to NPR’s companion site, “Lost Mothers: Maternal Mortality in the United States.”
Today, 700 to 900 American women die during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum, the highest rate in the developed world, they reported. Continue reading
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week confirmed that laboratory tests found elevated levels of belladonna in samples of homeopathic teething tablets. The FDA urged parents and caregivers to stop giving children the products and safely dispose of any remaining tablets.
Belladonna, also known as deadly nightshade, is a toxic substance and products containing it cause unnecessary health risks for young children, the agency warned in its Jan. 27 announcement. Continue reading
There have been a lot of gripping tales of late highlighting the impact of the nation’s soaring heroin epidemic, especially on children and infants.
They’re all important – if tough – reads, but what really caught my eye recently was a separate but related resource package circulated by ProPublica, which details state laws regarding women whose newborn babies test positive for certain drugs. While authorities may be increasingly focused on the issue, the project looks not only at the wide variance of rules across state and even county lines, but how laws already on the books can have unintended consequences and disproportionately affect poor women. Continue reading
The National Center for Health Statistics published the latest data on 2014 births last month, and these reports can be unexpected gold mines for enterprise reporting.
The reports themselves are very dry – literally just the most recent statistics available on a particular data set with little to no analysis. However, that means most journalists will be reporting just that – the data without much analysis – while others can take some time to compare the numbers to past reports and look for trends. Continue reading
It’s no secret that raising children is an expensive proposition. But for millennials, who entered adulthood during the worst economic slump since the Great Depression, the 2007-09 recession appears to have done a double-whammy on their decision to enter parenthood.
A recent study by the Urban Institute found that women in their 20s had fewer babies amid the soft economy than those in previous decades. And while it is still too early to know whether they will “catch up” by having children later, the paper written by Nan Marie Astone, Steven Martin and H. Elizabeth Peters raises questions about the implications such a population dip both can have not only on U.S. families but also upward mobility and society. Continue reading