HEADLINE: INFANT MORTALITY
ANCHOR LEAD: THE US REMAINS A COUNTRY WITH AN UNACCEPTABLY HIGH LEVEL OF INFANT MORTALITY, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Infant mortality rates in the United States remain much higher than those in countries with a similar standard of living, the latest World Health Organization data demonstrate. Anne Burke, an obstetrician gynecologist at Johns Hopkins, says disparities in healthcare insurance may be a big factor.
BURKE: What we sometimes see is that if a woman is uninsured and gets pregnant, it can take her a fair amount of time to access the healthcare system. Some places might not see her without health insurance, it’s probably a lot easier for a pregnant woman to get health insurance than it is for a nonpregnant woman, but that can still take time. And so sometimes what we see is that women present for care much later in the pregnancy because they were waiting for the insurance paperwork to go through. And the later in the pregnancy prenatal care starts, the more concerned we have to be that we might have to treat a problem, or we’re starting to treat a problem later than we should have. :30
Women without health insurance also deliver lower weight babies at earlier stages of pregnancy. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.