American-Born Black Women at Higher Risk for Preeclampsia
A new study revealed the Black women born in the United States were more likely to develop preeclampsia than Black women who immigrated to the county.
Preeclampsia is a serious form of high blood pressure that can be deadly for a pregnant woman or the fetus. It’s one of the leading causes of maternal deaths across the globe.
Foreign-born Black women who lived in the United States fewer than 10 years had 26 percent lower odds of preeclampsia.
The 28-year study, which was published in December of 2021, collected data from a racially-diverse group of more than 6,000 women. It factored in biological, social and cultural factors.
Though Black women are often said to be at higher risk for preeclampsia, the study’s lead researcher Garima Sharma, director of cardio-obstetric at the John Hopkins University School of Medicine, said “in this study, it’s clear that Black women born outside the U.S. are less likely to have preeclampsia until they have been here for some time.”
The research did not explore the stress of systemic racism, living in racially segregated neighborhoods and discrimination, but Sharma added those things are likely to contribute to the poor health of some Black women. This can likely contribute to disparities in cardiovascular risk factors and preeclampsia.