New study links increase in preterm births among Latinas to 2016 Presidential Election

Posted at 7:55 PM, Jul 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-22 08:18:03-04

A new study has linked an increase in preterm births among U.S. Latinas to the 2016 Presidential Election.

According to a study, led by a researcher at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, there was a significant jump in preterm births to Latina mothers living in the U.S. in the nine months following the election.

The study suggested adverse, stress-related health effects occurred among Latin Americans in the U.S. at that time.

“The 2016 election, following campaign promises of mass deportation and the rollback of policies such as DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, may have adversely affected the health of Latinas and their newborns,” says study first author Alison Gemmill, PhD, MPH, assistant professor in the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health at the Bloomberg School.

The new analysis, which is based on U.S. government data on more than 33 million live births in the country, found an excess of 2,337 preterm births to U.S. Latinas compared to what would have been expected given trends in preterm birth in the years prior to the election. This is roughly 3.5 percent more preterm births than expected given projections from pre-election data.

The analysis also revealed peaks in excess preterm births in February and July of 2017 for both male and female infants, which hints that infants conceived or in the second trimester of gestation at the time of the election may have been particularly vulnerable to maternal stress.