SALT LAKE CITY – Officials with the Utah Department of Health announced Wednesday that data they’ve collected indicates that babies in two groups are more likely than others to die before turning one year old.
According to a press release from health department officials, data collected in recent years: “confirm that African American and Pacific Islander babies are significantly more likely to die before their first birthday than other babies in Utah.”
The data, see below for the full study, is the result of work that included postnatal interviews with African American and Pacific Islander women who had an adverse birth outcome, like loss of a baby, preterm birth or low birth weight.
The study, carried out by The Office of Health Disparities in collaboration with the Maternal and Infant Health Program and the Office of Home Visiting, focused on identifying social detriments to the children’s health, things that include the environment, social dynamics and access to health care.
Those who participated in the study described the conditions in their lives during and before pregnancy, and according to the press release such factors include: unsafe living conditions, financial difficulties, relationship problems, encounters with racism and other stressors.
“Most of these women had unplanned pregnancies, were significantly less likely to receive prenatal care and were overweight or obese,” the release stated.
Lydia Afualo Muavesi of the Children’s Service Society stated in the press release she applauds the study for “looking at all the other issues that can affect a pregnancy, like housing and paying bills and domestic situations, not just eating well and exercising.
The full study is provided below, and it includes recommendations for health care providers, public health agencies and community organizations that work with African American and Pacific Islander women.