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What’s Killing America’s Black Infants? [The Nation]

"Racism is fueling a national health crisis." The author, Zoe Carpenter, examines the infant mortality, with a close look at the city of Milwaukee, whose health commissioner has identified reducing high infant mortality a primary health priority. Racial disparities in infant mortality continue and "a growing body of evidence points to racial discrimination, rather than race itself, as the dominant factor in explaining why so many black babies are dying." " Chronic stress raises amounts of cortisone, a hormone that at elevated levels triggers labor. It can also cause an inflammatory response that restricts blood flow to the placenta, stunting infant growth. But it’s not just stress during pregnancy that matters: Health experts now think that stress throughout the span of a woman’s life can prompt biological changes that affect the health of her future children. Stress can disrupt immune, vascular, metabolic, and endocrine systems, and cause cells to age more quickly." To read more about the thinking and statistics behind this, click here.

 

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