Black infants at greater risk of death in Clark County

Newborn Malika Miller isn’t about to become a death statistic — her mother is determined to prevent that.

But Tytianna Miller, like many African-American mothers, didn’t seek prenatal care until she was well into her pregnancy. The 24-year-old first-time mom didn’t know she was expecting until she was 16 weeks pregnant. She didn’t have health insurance.

She saw a doctor for the first time at her four-month mark.

Access to prenatal care is one of many contributing factors that put black babies at higher risk of dying before their first birthday than babies of other races. 

“Being an African-American woman, I want to change the statistics,” Miller said. She’s participating in a relatively new program to help black mothers and to reduce those grim numbers.

The higher risk of death faced by African-American babies isn’t new in Clark County. A 2006 report on child fatalities stunned then-Clark County Assistant Manager Darryl Martin when he saw black infants accounted for 57 percent of local deaths from sudden infant death syndrome, which is an unexplained death that usually happens to sleeping children younger than a year.

Seven 2006 deaths were because of SIDS. At that time, blacks made up 9 percent of the county’s population.

There has been a decrease in such deaths, with only one reported in 2012, according to the 2012 Clark County report on child fatalities. The report didn’t specify the baby’s race.

Infant Mortality

In 2013, Clark County’s overall infant mortality rate was 4.8 per 1,000 births. But for blacks that rate was much higher: 12.21 per 1,000 births, according to data from the Nevada Health Statistics Portal.

The average infant mortality rate from 2007 to 2009 for African-Americans in Clark County was 11.5 per 1,000, according to the Southern Nevada Health District. The average rate for Hispanics in the same years was 5.3 per 1,000 and 3.1 per 1,000 for Asians.

Clark County’s infant mortality average rate for 2011 to 2013 was 5 per 1,000 births, according to the 2014 Nevada Kids Count Data Book.

“Hopefully, we all as a community can fight those issues that are preventable,” said Lourdes C. Yapjoco, public health nurse supervisor at the Southern Nevada Health District.

But to better grasp the issue, those tackling the problem need to delve deeper, said Cassius Lockett, director of community health at the Southern Nevada Health District.

He began doing exactly that a year ago by looking at fetal mortality. His analysis uses a methodology, which helps identify important periods of risk that contribute to feto-infant mortality. The methodology, developed by the World Health Organizations about a decade ago, is called Perinatal Periods of Risk.

The periods of risk include maternal health/prematurity, maternal care, newborn care and infant health.

The analysis, using 2011-12 data, found the overall feto-infant mortality rate in Clark County to be 8.4 per 1,000 live births, plus fetal deaths.

But the rates swell when examined by race.

Using data from 2008 to 2012, the analysis found the feto-infant mortality rate for African-Americans was 13.6 per every 1,000 live births. For Hispanics the feto-infant mortality rate was 7.8 per every 1,000. Whites had a rate of 6.8 per 1,000 and Asians had a rate of 5.9 per 1,000.

Another problem is that too many black babies are born small. Looking at why that happens is important, Lockett said. They are being born at a “significantly” lower birth weights more frequently than in other ethnic groups.

A big factor is that African-American babies have a higher rate of preterm birth,at less than 37 weeks gestation, Lockett said.

Looking at preconception health is key, he said. But making sure that mothers with chronic illnesses are treated is also important because that’s related to maternal care.

“The good news is that we have something that we need to focus on,” he said. “We need to do whatever we can to prevent prematurity.”

Lockett’s study also found that African-American women had less than six prenatal visits throughout pregnancy and were more prone to infections.

Miller came down with Group B streptococcus at 37 weeks. It’s a bacteria infection that in newborns most commonly causes sepsis, pneumonia and sometimes meningitis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But doctors were able to catch it and control it.

The single mother at times struggled to hold her baby after giving birth in August. But Miller was ecstatic as she paid attention to a health educator who showed her how to soothe Malika while she’s in her crib.

“I had too many reasons to doubt this pregnancy,” she said.

When Malika was born she weighed 7 pounds. Her weight was average. She is healthy and advanced for her age. She rolls and is always alert.

She is eating and gaining weight.

A Healthy Start

To keep risk to her daughter at bay, Miller is participating in a federal program offered through the health district called Healthy Start, which is one of eight in the region and one of 87 nationwide.

The program was launched in Clark County in 2014 and targets African-American women and babies in certain ZIP codes throughout the county. It provides services before, during and after their pregnancies to help decrease the staggering infant mortality among this group.

The program services the ZIP codes with the highest concentrations of African-Americans, such as 89101, 89103, 89119 and 89106.

Some of those overlap with ZIP codes in Clark County that have a higher concentration of preterm births and low birth weight and higher fetal-infant mortality, such as 89119, 89106, 89101, 89109 and 89169.

“Natural causes that lead to that kind of death before age 1 is hugely impacted by premature birth,” said Aisha Bowen, a senior health educator with Healthy Start.

The program aims to connect with women early in their pregnancy to help them get vital prenatal care.

“It’s either late or not existent at all, and by late, we mean not the first trimester or even the second,” Bowen said of African-American mothers.

Access to prenatal care relies on many things, she said. Cultural factors also play a huge role, as well as the educational level of understanding of the benefits of actually seeking care.

“We provide them with the educational benefit of having good, on-time prenatal care as well as postpartum care when they deliver,” Bowen said. “Once the baby is born, we actually want to follow the family until that child is 24 months.”

There’s another program offered through the Southern Nevada Health District called the Nurse-Partnership, which helps first-time moms have better pregnancy outcomes by helping women change their behaviors and reduce their use of alcohol and drugs.

Some of the ZIP codes overlap by those serviced by Healthy Start. In both programs, women receive visits in their home.

“We are not prenatal care, but we want to make sure that we help them with resources so they can get prenatal care,” said Deyanira Goss, a community health nurse in the program.

Contact Yesenia Amaro at yamaro@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3843. Follow her on Twitter: @YeseniaAmaro

ad-high_impact_4
News
9 Dead and at Least 16 Injured as Van Hits Pedestrians in Toronto
9 Dead and at Least 16 Injured as Van Hits Pedestrians in Toronto The driver of the van is now in custody after climbing the curb and plowing through crowds of people. Witnesses describe a scene of chaos as the trail stretched about one mile before coming to a stop. Witness, via CTV Canada's Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, made initial statements after learning of the incident. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Welcomes New Baby Girl!
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Welcomes New Baby Girl! The 45-year-old actor posted an adorable photo on Instagram, celebrating his newborn baby girl, Tiana Gia Johnson. Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram This is Johnson’s second daughter with his girlfriend, Lauren Hashian. His oldest daughter, Simone Garcia Johnson, came from his previous marriage. Johnson and Hashian first announced they were expecting another child back in January. Congratulations!!
High School Senior Wins Writing Scholarship
Kye "Kai" Catarata was presented with a $1,000 scholarship at the Las Vegas Writer's Conference Saturday at the Tuscany Suites and Casino.
It's a Boy! Duchess of Cambridge Gives Birth to Third Child
It's a Boy! Duchess of Cambridge Gives Birth to Third Child Kensington Palace announced that Prince William and Princess Kate traveled by car to the private Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital in central London Monday. The child was born at 11:01 a.m. local time, weighing 8lbs 7oz. Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well. Kensington Palace The new addition will be fifth in line to the throne, Queen Elizabeth II's sixth great-grandchild and third grandchild of Charles, Prince of Wales. Catherine and Harry married in 2011 and have two other children, Prince George, 4, and Princess Charlotte, who turns 3 next month.
Dr. Abbatangelo: Professor, Pageant Queen and Animal Dentist
Dr. Tina M. Abbatangelo, a professor of clinical practice at UNLV dentist school spends her free time and money traveling across the country to help treat exotic animals.
Joseph Otting, U.S. comptroller of the currency during an interview with RJ
Joseph Otting, U.S. comptroller of the currency during an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Otting oversees all national banks, credit unions, mutual savings banks, coops and the federal branches and agencies of foreign banks in the United States. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Paris Wade discusses about his “Liberty Writers” website
Paris Wade, who made national headlines for operating a fake news website and boasts about getting President Donald Trump elected in 2016, speaks during an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Friday, April 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. Wade is running for Nevada Assembly. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Police Unity Tour from New Jersey to Washington D.C. to commemorate fallen officers.
Las Vegas Metro police and Henderson police officers ride their bikes during the Vegas Team's last practice rides in preparation for the Police Unity Tour from New Jersey to Washington D.C. to commemorate fallen officers. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review Journal @bizutesfaye
UNLV students walk out of class on national walkout day
UNLV students and supporters chanted, marched and rallied on national walkout day Friday, April 20 on the 19th anniversary of the 1999 Columbine High School shooting in Colorado. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Captain Sasha Larkin Discusses Challenges, Progress in North West
Captain Sasha Larkin, of Metro's Northwest Area Command, discusses what issues face the northwest valley's residents and what police are doing to address them.
Southwest giving passengers on deadly flight $5,000 for compensation
Passengers on Flight 1380 have been receiving checks as a gesture of goodwill from the airline.
Ellis Island Buys Mt. Charleston Lodge
Ellis Island, which operates a casino, brewery and hotel just off the Strip, purchased the Mt. Charleston Lodge in early April.
LVMPD Arrests Suspect in Sunset Park Shooting
Captain Robert Plummer held a press conference at LVMPD headquarters Thursday to provide updates on the arrest of Anthony J. Wrobel, accused of killing a Venetian executive and wounding one other in a shooting on Sunday.
Two Black Men Arrested at Starbucks Share Their Story
Two Black Men Arrested at Starbucks Share Their Story Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson sat down with ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’ on Thursday and said the Starbucks manager called the police two minutes after they arrived. Donte Robinson, to 'Good Morning America' Donte Robinson, to 'Good Morning America' The men were meeting with a friend for a business meeting at the store’s location at around 3:45 pm on April 12 and declined to make any purchases. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson issued a public apology and vowed to fix the issue by closing 8,000 stores nationwide next month for training on unconscious bias. Both Nelson and Robinson were released without charges after spending hours in jail, and the manager is no longer with the company.
Hero Southwest Pilot Was One of the Navy’s First Female Fighter Pilots
Hero Southwest Pilot Was One of the Navy’s First Female Fighter Pilots Tammie Jo Shults is being called a hero after safely landing the crippled Southwest Flight 1380 in Philadelphia. According to a spokesperson, Shults began her Navy career in 1985 and was one of the first female pilots to “transition to tactical aircraft.” She served for another eight years before moving to the Naval Reserve, retiring completely in 2001 with the rank of Lt. Commander. The Southwest flight, which was headed for Dallas from New York, was forced to make an emergency landing after one of its engines blew. One passenger was killed in the explosion when shrapnel flew through a window. Seven others suffered minor injuries aboard the flight, which carried 149 people. Passenger Peggy Phillips, to NBC News Passenger Peggy Phillips, to NBC News
Bump stock manufacturers under fire
The Justice Department said last month that it had started the process to amend federal firearms regulations to clarify that federal law defines bump stocks as machine guns.
Artist, Community Paint Winchester Skate Park
Andrew Schoultz, a Los Angeles-based artist with an upcoming exhibit at UNLV's Barrick Museum, painted the skate park at Winchester Cultural Center on Tuesday.
Prince death investigation coming to an end
Prosecutors in Minnesota plan an announcement Thursday on the two-year investigation into Prince's death from a drug overdose Prince was 57 when he was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate on April 21, 2016. An autopsy found he died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl. Search warrants unsealed about a year after Prince died showed that authorities searched his home, cellphone records of associates and his email accounts to try to determine how he got the drug. The county attorney has scheduled a morning announcement at which time charges could be filed.
David Copperfield executive producer testifies during the magician's civil trial
A British tourist is suing illusionist David Copperfield saying he was injured during a trick. Chris Kenner, executive producer for illusionist David Copperfield, was on the witness stand all day Tuesday, April 17. Kenner testified that a business manager for the show talked to the man after he fell. Kenner testified that the tourist, Gavin Cox, said he was OK moments after the fall. Cox later told the crew: “Maybe I will have this looked at.” Copperfield is the next witness in line for Cox’s attorneys. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
CCSD Teacher Is a Living Organ Donor
June Monroe speaks about her kidney donation to her brother and advocacy work with the National Kidney Foundation.
Shadow Ridge High School teachers protest
Shadow Ridge High School teachers protest. Teachers are upset over many things, including the fact that the district is fighting an arbitration ruling for pay raises. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Clark County commissioners debate getting rid of Henderson, North Las Vegas constables
Clark County commissioners are debating whether to get rid of the Henderson and North Las Vegas constables after RJ's story pointing out questionable spending by the Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
1 Dead, 7 Injured After Southwest Airlines Flight Makes Emergency Landing
1 Dead, 7 Injured After Southwest Airlines Flight Makes Emergency Landing Dallas-bound Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 out of New York, which had 143 passengers and a crew of five onboard, landed in Philadelphia on Tuesday. According to NBC10, a female passenger was partially sucked out of a broken window, which was a result of the plane's engine ripping apart. It's not known if the female passenger was the one who died. Emergency personnel met the battered plane upon its landing. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the blown engine resulted in a smashed window and a damaged fuselage. Southwest Airlines The FAA said that the NTSB will lead the investigation into what happened.
Single vehicle crash kills man
A man died Tuesday morning in a single-vehicle crash in northeast Las Vegas. The crash occurred Tuesday morning on the 1900 block of Pasadena Boulevard, near Lake Mead Boulevard and Mt. Hood Street. Police had few details, but Metro's fatal detail was on the scene investigating.
Sunset Park Homicide (update 2)
LVMPD gives update about suspect in homicide at Sunset Park (Blake Apgar)
Sunset Park Homicide (update)
Update from LVMPD on Sunset Park homicide. Releasing suspect's name (Blake Apgar)
Sunset Park Homicide
Police give details about Sunset Park homicide on Sunday, April 15, 2018. (Blake Apgar)
Parents of autistic child talk about their experience waiting for care
Parents of autistic child talk about their experience waiting for care. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Donald Trump Calls Out James Comey After Book Details Emerge
Donald Trump Calls Out James Comey After Book Details Emerge The President took to Twitter to criticize the former FBI director as information emerges from Comey’s new book, ‘A Higher Loyalty’. According to 'The New York Times', Comey describes Trump in the book as “unethical, and untethered to truth and institutional values.” James Comey, A Higher Loyalty, via The New York Times A Higher Loyalty hits stores on April 17.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like