Health News Roundup

The data that could help patients of color pick their doctors, and more in this week’s roundup

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Mothers of color can’t see if providers have a history of mistreatment. Why not?
Sarah Kwon, KFF Health News, Oct. 6
Research has spotlighted racial discrimination by maternity care providers and the role it may play in one of the country’s most vexing health disparities: Black women experience the worst birthing outcomes, a gap not explained by income or education. Consumer ratings sites rarely identify patient experiences by race or ethnicity and hospitals are under no obligation to reveal the racial and ethnic breakdowns of their patient satisfaction scores. Yet that information could help hold maternity care providers and hospitals accountable and could empower expectant mothers in finding quality obstetric care.

COVID vaccine uptake in CT slow as rollout shifts, exacerbating existing inequities
Jordan Nathaniel Fenster, CT Insider, Oct. 9
Gone are the mass vaccination sites. Gone are the mobile vaccination clinics and pop-up vaccination tents. Gone, for the most part, are “trusted ambassadors” working to bridge inequities in vaccine uptake among communities of color. The shift from federally funded and managed COVID vaccine rollout to a privatized model, experts say, has kept vaccine uptake low despite the bump in COVID cases, exacerbating existing inequities.

The U.S. mental health crisis is taking an uneven toll
Caitlin Owens, Axios, Oct. 11
A trio of new studies paints a grim picture of how overdose deaths, depression and barriers to care are weighing heaviest on disadvantaged and minority groups — and are aligning to widen health disparities. While behavioral health issues seep into nearly every corner of American life, many experts say interventions have to be built around “precision psychology” that factors in social determinants and can predict which subgroups benefit the most. A one-size-fits-all approach could widen gaps in length and quality of life, the experts caution.

Chronic kidney disease raises risk of sudden cardiac arrest among Hispanics and Latinos
Anika Nayak, STAT, Oct. 11
Chronic kidney disease was the strongest risk factor for sudden cardiac arrest among Hispanic and Latino adults in the first study to evaluate this population in the U.S. for risk factors of this major cause of death. Historically, Hispanic and Latino individuals have been underrepresented in cardiovascular disease research. “Sudden cardiac arrest is a major cause of death, yet little is known about risk factors for SCA among Hispanic and Latino individuals, who make up about 19% of the U.S. population,” said Kyndaron Reinier, the paper’s lead author.