Rhea Boyd, MD+ Your Authors @RheaBoydMD A pediatrician and hopeful participant in democracy. Trying to do the right thing by the children of the world, one day at a time. youtu.be/xBUEsDtBfiQ Dec. 05, 2019 1 min read + Your Authors

Listen y'all - we gotta talk about this. Short thread.

This paper revealed *causal* evidence that "in utero exposure to police killings of unarmed blacks within 1 km of mother’s residence substantially reduces the birth weight of black infants by 50 to over 80 g."

As the authors note, this effect was most pronounced during the 1st and 2nd trimesters, which is also when maternal stress has the greatest impact on pregnancy outcomes.

The stress they are explicitly referencing is that related to "perceived injustice and discrimination."

These authors are providing *causal* evidence that "exposure to a single police killing of an unarmed black individual during pregnancy, accounts for as much as A THIRD of the black-white gap in birth weight."

A single event.


Causes intergenerational harm.

They also find that, "the effect of police killings of unarmed Blacks is restricted to black infants."

Of the racial groups studied (black, white, and hispanic), this effect was only seen when police kill unarmed Black Americans and it was only experienced by Black infants.

And they conclude, "In the past public health initiatives to reduce disparities in infant health have centered on expanding access to prenatal care. The results encourage policymakers and public health officials to broadly consider...the adverse consequences of police violence."

This paper reads like a master class in how you study and address racism and its attendant effects on health and disease.

Bravo to the author @jlegewie! The causal link you explore here is actionable and has urgent implications for policy and practice.

This is the bar people! If your work on racial health disparities is not exploring racism, and its multitude of manifestations, as a fundamental driver of health outcomes - it isn't good enough. PERIOD.

End thread.

Here's a pdf of the article:  https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/advances/5/12/eaax7894.full.pdf 

You can follow @RheaBoydMD.


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