Social Inequities Hurt Babies' Hearts
Our recent paper is the featured article of the April 2023 issue of the journal Pediatric Research. Here's a summary:
This commentary highlights the critical link between social determinants of health and the prevalence of congenital heart disease, a common condition among newborns. The research suggests that children from low-income families, particularly those living in low- and middle-income countries, are more likely to be affected by this condition due to factors such as exposure to air pollutants from cooking stoves and cigarettes. The paper highlights the impact of environmental and socioeconomic factors on the health of children, particularly those who are socioeconomically disadvantaged, and provides compelling evidence for the need for preventive action.
The research sheds light on the disproportionate burden that low-income families endure around the world and highlights the need for urgent action to address preventable environmental and socioeconomic inequities that lead to health disparities. The study underscores the potential beneficial impacts of two interventions: 1) investing in clean cooking fuels and efficient cooking stoves to reduce exposure to indoor air pollution, and 2) the need for smoking cessation programs to help pregnant women quit smoking. Ultimately, the study's findings underscore the need for a multi-sectoral approach that addresses the social determinants of health and promotes health equity, particularly among children.
Citation: Claudio L, Ortega-García JA, Rodríguez Villamizar LA. Social inequities hurt babies' hearts: a commentary on Forero-Manzano, MJ, et al. Pediatr Res. 2022 Dec 2. doi: 10.1038/s41390-022-02363-7. Epub ahead of print. Pediatr Res. 2023 Feb 17;: PMID: 36460740.
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Dr. Luz Claudio is an environmental health scientist, mother and consultant, originally from Puerto Rico. She is a tenured professor of environmental medicine and public health. Luz recently published her first book: How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper: The Step-by-Step Guide. Dr. Claudio has internship programs and resources for young scientists. Opinions expressed in this blog are solely her own and may not reflect her employer's views.