George Mason UniversitySchool of Business

Research Finds Black Babies in the U.S. Die at Three Times the Rate of White Babies

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According to a peer-reviewed study co-written by Associate Professor of Information Systems and Operations Management Brad Greenwood, black newborn babies in the United States are three times more likely to die than white newborn babies during their initial hospital stays. The study, published earlier this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that when Black doctors cared for Black babies, their mortality rate was cut in half.

“The disparity is quite striking,” Greenwood said. “So the next question is why. There’s a milieu of possible explanations, so the next step is to, through observations, find out the reasons for such a difference.”

Greenwood and his co-authors examined 1.8 million hospital birth records in Florida between 1992 and 2015, identifying the race of the doctor in each birth. The study found that the race of the doctor caring for white babies did not appear to make a difference in the likelihood of survival.

“It’s important to focus on the issues of disparities in health care to understand what’s going on and try to figure out how to change things for the better,” Greenwood said.



Read more about Brad Greenwood's findings on Mason’s website, “Black Babies in the U.S. Die at Three Times the Rate of White Babies, Mason Professor’s Research Shows."