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Health News Roundup

Maternity’s most dangerous time, and more in this week’s roundup

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Maternity’s most dangerous time: After new mothers come home
Roni Caryn Rabin, The New York Times, May 28
Most people think of labor and birth as the most dangerous part of pregnancy. But new research is challenging this assumption, finding that substantial risks persist for a full year after birth itself. The deadliest time for mothers is actually after the baby is born. The risk of later maternal death is 3.5 times higher among Black women, compared with that among white women.

‘A target on my back’: New survey shows racism is a huge problem in nursing
Usha Lee McFarling, STAT, May 31
A recent nationwide survey suggests there has been little progress in making nursing more inclusive. The survey found that while most nurses have seen or experienced racism from patients and colleagues alike, fewer than 1 in 4 nurses reported the incident. Experts say this data, combined with other recent research, reveals a disturbing and deeply entrenched culture of racism and white supremacy in nursing that stretches back to the field’s origins.

More than words: Working through language barriers in health care
Cris Villanlonga-Vivoni, Record-Journal, May 24
Growing up, many children like Maria Canales play the role of their family’s English-to-Spanish translator during medical appointments. Although Latinos are the second largest ethnic group in the U.S., only 7% of doctors identify as Latino, and only 22% of family physicians are fluent in Spanish. Despite some progress in Connecticut, the lack of bilingual providers causes barriers and leads to poorer health outcomes.

Black children are more likely to have asthma. A lot comes down to where they live
Kat Stafford, Associated Press, May 23
Across America, nearly 4 in 10 Black children live in areas with poor environmental and health conditions compared to 1 in 10 white children. This is among the factors behind the disparities in asthma. This article traces the roots of these disparities and their impact today in Hartford.

Cardiovascular disease is primed to kill more older adults, especially Blacks and Hispanics 
Judith Graham, KFF Health News, May 30
Cardiovascular disease – the leading cause of death among people 65 and older – is poised to become more prevalent in the years ahead, disproportionately affecting Black and Hispanic communities. The dramatic expansion of the U.S. aging population and rising numbers of people with conditions that put them at risk for heart disease and stroke are expected to contribute to this alarming scenario. The greatest increase in deaths will come between 2025 and 2030, researchers predicted.