Navigation Links
Some racial disparities in childbirth more environmental than genetic
Date:3/13/2014

A new study investigating racial disparities in birth outcomes shows that contrary to some theories Vitamin D is unlikely to play a role in differences in preterm birth and low birth weight between African-Americans and whites.

"For years there has been this hypothesis that African-Americans have worse birth outcomes because they have more melanin in their skin which reflects the sun and therefore lowers levels of Vitamin D," said study author Zaneta Thayer, PhD, assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Colorado Denver . "But in examining the relationship between ultraviolet exposure and birth outcomes nationwide, there was no evidence to support this."

The study was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

The so-called ultraviolet light or UVD theory holds that racial differences in health outcomes between blacks and whites are associated with the ability to synthesize Vitamin D from ultraviolet light. African-Americans, who have high concentrations of melanin, are less able to absorb Vitamin D from the sun leading some to believe that this contributes to higher rates of negative birth outcomes.

A lack of Vitamin D has been linked to increased risk of pregnancy complications, bone disorders, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some cancers.

At the same time, differences in socioeconomic status and racial discrimination have also been linked to low birth weights, risk of depression and other ailments.

Thayer collected data on UV exposure in 48 states or territories, using information compiled from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Weather Service website. She also used birth outcome data came from the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, focusing specifically on incidences of low birth weight and preterm births.

The study found that states with the highest income inequalities had higher disparities in birth outcomes across the UV spectrum.

The racial disparity in low birth weight was greatest among women living in areas with high UV exposure and greater income inequality. The disparity in preterm births was also highest in areas with increased UV exposure and income inequality.

According to the UVD hypothesis, the difference in birth outcomes between whites and blacks should be lower among women in areas with more sunshine or UV radiation. In fact, there was an increase in disparities in those areas.

"Given the UV hypothesis, we would expect that women who live in the South would have better birth outcomes than those living in the North," Thayer said. "However, the present analysis suggests the exact opposite, with both absolute rates as well as racial disparities in adverse birth outcomes being greatest in southern states."

In fact, the states with the lowest disparities in preterm and low birth weights were North Dakota and Vermont which had the second and third lowest UV Indexes respectively.

"The results suggest that the environment is a stronger contributor to adverse birth outcomes than genes, since there are differences in rates of birth outcomes across states" Thayer said. "That said, it seems unlikely that disparities in birth outcomes in the U.S. are primarily shaped by differences in UV induced vitamin D status."

Thayer said it might be time to stop looking at genes as the primary cause of racial differences.

"We need to focus on addressing structural inequalities in society like poverty and discrimination that shape individual experience and health," she said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Dan Meyers
dan.meyers@ucdenver.edu
University of Colorado Denver
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Potential biological factor contributing to racial disparities in prostate cancer
2. Wayne State to study role of microRNAs in prostate cancer racial disparities
3. Genetic Difference in Blood Clotting Mechanism Could Explain Some of the Racial Disparity in Heart Disease
4. Deaths from pancreatic cancer rise, fall along racial lines
5. Deaths from pancreatic cancer rise, fall among racial lines
6. Racial difference in blood clotting warrants a closer look at heart attack medications
7. Considerable gender, racial and sexuality differences in attitudes toward bisexuality
8. Racial and ethnic disparities exist in ER pain management for children with abdominal pain
9. LSUHSC study reports racial/ethnic differences in young people with cancer
10. Research finds racial/ethnic disparities in health care among older male cancer survivors
11. Study finds racial and ethnic disparities in usage of specialty services for children with autism
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... The American Board of ... its next President and Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Dr. James C. Puffer upon his ... July 1, 2018 until Dr. Puffer’s retirement at the end of 2018. Upon assuming ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Lori R. Somekh, founder of ... ElderCounsel, a national organization of elder law and special needs planning attorneys. “Membership in ... It also provides a forum to network with elder law attorneys nationwide,” said Somekh. ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... Ellevate Network, the leading network for professional women, brought ... gender equality at their inaugural Summit in New York City in June. The event ... audience of over 3 million. To watch the Mobilize Women video, click here ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... Coveros, a leader in agile coaching ... contract by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The Enterprise Agile ... of Agile methodologies in a consistent and high value manner across CMS programs. ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... CitiDent and San Francisco dentists, ... cutting-edge Oventus O2Vent technology. As many as 18 million Americans are estimated to ... breathing. Oral appliances can offer significant relief to about 75 percent of people ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/18/2017)... KALAMAZOO, Mich. , Sept. 18, 2017  PMD ... OptiMed Specialty Pharmacy of Kalamazoo, Mich. ... strategic hub service that expedites and streamlines patient and ... Spiro PD 2.0, and wellness management services.  ... medical device used to measure lung function for a ...
(Date:9/12/2017)... , Sept. 12, 2017   EcoVadis , the leading platform for ... the first annual edition of its Global CSR Risk and Performance Index. ... by EcoVadis, based on Scorecard Ratings that analyzed nearly 800,000 data points ... ... ...
(Date:9/9/2017)... ... ... Monday, September 18 th .The Brain Tumor Foundation (BTF) begins a week-long ... BTF,s Mobile MRI Unit – a 70 Ft. ... brings its nationwide initiative, the Road to Early Detection Sponsor-A-City Campaign to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: