Non-Hispanic black infants born with heart defects are more likely to die within the first five years of life than their non-Hispanic white and Hispanic peers. For certain types of congenital heart abnormalities, Hispanic children as well as non-Hispanic black children fare worse than non-Hispanic white children.
These findings, detailed in a new study by researchers at the University of South Florida, Texas Department of State Health Services and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, suggest preventive strategies are needed to reduce racial and ethnic disparities among infants and young children with heart defects. The research is published online today in the journal Pediatrics.
"When you consider that the numbers of minority children continue to grow and are expected to account for more than half of all U.S. children by 2040, it's clear we need to reduce the racial and disparities that burden the health care system and adversely affect the lives of families," said lead author Wendy Nembhard, PhD, associate professor of epidemiology at the USF College of Public Health.
Congenital heart defects are malformations in one or more structures of the heart or major blood vessels that occur before birth. They are the most common of all birth defects and the leading cause of death among infants with birth defects.
The new study adds to a growing body of evidence that minority infants with specific types of heart defects have poorer survival rates in early childhood than non-Hispanic white infants.
The researchers retrospectively reviewed the records of 19,530 single infants born with congenital heart defects in Texas from January 1996 through December 2005. The study was limited to infants born to non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black and Hispanic women. Linking records from the Texas Birth Defect Registry to Texas death records and the National Death Index, the researchers analyzed survival rates and risk of childhood death within the first five years of life for each type of congenital heart defect.
Among the study findings:
Non-Hispanic black race/ethnicity was more strongly associated with increased risk of early childhood death than Hispanic race/ethnicity.
Overall, non-Hispanic black infants with congenital heart defects had a 32 percent greater risk of early childhood death than their non-Hispanic white counterparts. In contrast, Hispanic infants with heart defects had no overall increased risk of early childhood death when compared with white infants.
The risk of early childhood death was twice as great for non-Hispanic black infants with a reversal in primary connections of the heart's two main blood vessels (known as transposition of the great arteries) as for similarly affected non-Hispanic white infants. The same two-fold increased risk was seen in this group for tetralogy of Fallot, a cyanotic heart defect causing low oxygen levels in the blood.
Of the three racial/ethnic groups, non-Hispanic black infants consistently had the lowest survival rates for congenital abnormalities in the septum (wall) separating the left and right sides of the heart.
Hispanic children had the lowest survival rate of the three groups for hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a rare defect in which the heart's left side is critically underdeveloped. They were also less like to survive than non-Hispanic whites when born with pulmonary valve atresia without ventricular septic defect, a condition including absence of the pulmonary valve opening in the heart.
The researchers suggest the inequalities in early childhood survival may be caused by several factors: underlying racial/ethnic biological differences, including severity of the defect or the number of co-occurring defects; lack of timely access to quality health care; and cultural factors or preferences, such as differences in prenatal diagnosis of defects.
Future studies should determine what role these factors and others may play, so that effective public health policies can be devised to improve the health of minority children born with heart defects, the researchers conclude.###
USF Health is dedicated to creating a model of health care based on understanding the full spectrum of health. It includes the University of South Florida's colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Public Health and Pharmacy, the School of Biomedical Sciences and the School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences; and the USF Physician's Group. Ranked 34th in federal research expenditures for public universities by the National Science Foundation, the University of South Florida is a high impact global research university.
Anne DeLotto Baier | EurekAlert!
Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
20.10.2017 | Information Technology
20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research