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Risk of Premature Birth in Latina Women Higher After 2016 Election

Hispanic and Latina women have not fared well in terms of health after the 2016 presidential election. A study published Friday using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that there could be correlations between President Donald Trump’s election and premature births, worsening cardiovascular health, sleep problems, anxiety and stress, especially among Latinos in the United States.

These problems have hit women particularly hard. Research found that the risk of premature birth was higher than expected among Latina women following Trump’s election, according to The Washington Post.

Unlike other studies on health issues, this is particularly striking to researchers because unlike ailments such as depression or stress that can be hard to quantify, births come with hard data. The study analyzed 33 million births from 2009 to 2017 and determined that there were 3 percent more preterm births than expected among Latina women in the nine months after the election.

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Preterm birth is the largest contributor to infant mortality. Complications such as low birth weight and premature birth have been shown to rise with the stress of natural disasters, racism and domestic violence.  It’s one of the first times that the researchers found a possible correlation between politics and a risk factor for poor pregnancy outcomes.

Now that it has been over two years since Trump was elected, researchers from all disciplines and backgrounds are able to start looking at how he has changed the country.

“It’s not hard to imagine why there would be increased stress the past few years: the fear of raids, the deportation threats, the tweets every morning, the separation of children from parents. It’s still early, but we’ve seen enough papers at this point that suggest it’s having real life consequences on health,” Luis H. Zayas, professor of social work and psychiatry at the University of Texas at Austin, told The Post.

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