Interventions Targeting Minorities, Other Efforts Needed To Improve Neonatal Outcomes in the U.S., Experts Say
Health experts at an RTI International seminar on Tuesday said that to improve neonatal outcomes across the country, the U.S. must create interventions that target minority populations, increase access to preconception care and standardize newborn screening, CQ HealthBeat reports. In 2005, there were 13.7 infant deaths per 1,000 live births among blacks, compared with 6.9 deaths per 1,000 births among all races, according to Nabil El-Khorazaty, a senior research statistician at RTI. Minorities also have a higher prevalence of maternal and infant health problems, El-Khorazaty said. He emphasized the importance of neonatal research among minority populations.
El-Khorazaty said standardized methodology for screening, assessing risks early in pregnancy and promoting longer spans between pregnancies will improve neonatal outcomes among minority populations. He added that there also needs to be improvement in minorities' access to neonatal intensive care units for high-risk pregnancies.
Further, he suggested that the U.S. increase public awareness about infant health risks, integrate counseling and education about preconception health and pregnancy risks into primary care, adopt interoperable electronic health records, and communicate with patients via cell phone and the Internet to improve follow-up care (Attias, CQ HealthBeat, 4/14).