20 Jul 2016 U.S. Presidential Election Associated With Increase in Preterm Births among U.S. Latina Women
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Alison Gemmill, PhD
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: A growing body of evidence suggests that the circumstances surrounding the 2016 presidential election may have had a uniquely negative impact on the health of U.S. Latino population. Few studies, however, have evaluated the population health implications of the election for Latina mothers and their children.
We used national data and methods that control for temporal patterning to test the hypothesis that preterm birth rose above otherwise expected levels among Latina women in the U.S. following the election of Donald Trump. We find that the number of preterm births among Latina women increased above expected levels following the election. Specifically, we find 3.5 percent more preterm births among Latinas than projected for nine months following election.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Our findings suggest that the 2016 U.S. presidential election was associated with an increase in preterm births among U.S. Latina women. While the study did not identify mechanisms underlying our findings, they corroborate other research that points to increased levels of psychosocial stress and anxiety among U.S. immigrants and their co-ethnic family and community members due to the changing political climate.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: Future research should investigate potential mechanisms to uncover how the threat of punitive immigration laws and enforcement may negatively impact population health outcomes, especially for pregnant women and their children. Future research should also monitor preterm trends to Latina women to examine if the increase we observed has persisted or worsened after the end of our study period (i.e. July 2017).
There are no disclosures to report.
Gemmill A, Catalano R, Casey JA, et al. Association of Preterm Births Among US Latina Women With the 2016 Presidential Election. JAMA Netw Open. Published online July 19, 20192(7):e197084. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.7084
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