Deaths due to police violence, which already affect black communities differently, negatively affect the health of mothers and babies in the neighborhood where they occur during pregnancy (at least in California), according to a new study .
Furthermore, this correlation is more robust when the victim of lethal violence and the biological mother / father were both black .
3.8 million women screened
The study conducted by researchers from the UCSF California Preterm Birth Initiative (PTBI-CA) and the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, studied the records of 3.8 million pregnant women to assess whether deadly police violence that occurs in their neighborhood during pregnancy was associated with cases of early, moderate or late preterm delivery.
The researchers analyzed the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) birth records from 2007 to 2015 , using the addresses of the biological parents to determine the parents’ census zone of residence. And the cases of lethal violence registered were matched: specifically, they matched the measures of police violence with the time interval of the pregnancies, using as a control group residents of the same census tract who did not experience police violence during their pregnancy.
It was thus correlated that black women have an 80% higher risk of preterm birth between 32 and 33 weeks of pregnancy if a black person living in their neighborhood is killed by the police during pregnancy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists the preterm birth rate among black women as 50% higher than the preterm birth rate among white or Latina women.
According to the analysis, neighborhoods where at least one incident of fatal police violence occurred tended to be where the biological parents were Black or Latino, had less education than high school, and had public insurance, compared to all births in California.
The study was published on March 10, 2021, in the journal Pediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology .
The UCSF California Preterm Birth Initiative (PTBI) is a research company whose mission is to eliminate racial disparities in preterm birth and improve health outcomes for babies born too early through wisdom-based research, partnerships, and education. of the community.