A recent article published by Medical Xpress highlighted the complex link between discrimination, race, ethnicity, and the incidence of low birth weight babies.
Previous research has linked low birth weight with diminished health outcomes over a lifetime. The literature also indicates that black and Hispanic women are more likely to deliver low birth weight infants. In a new Yale University study, researchers investigated the impact of discrimination during pregnancy on the incidence of low birth weight. The study found that women who reported more instances of discrimination were more likely to have lower birth weight infants and to experience depressive symptoms.
The authors concluded, “Given the associations between birth weight and health across the lifespan, it is critical to reduce discrimination directed at urban youth of color so that all children are able to begin life with greater promise for health. In doing so, we have the possibility to eliminate disparities not only in birth weight, but in health outcomes across the lifespan” (Medical Xpress, 08/27).