(CNN)Black newborn babies in the United States are more likely to survive childbirth if they are cared for by Black doctors, but three times more likely than White Babies to die when looked after by White doctors, a study has found.
Black newborns more likely to die when looked after by White doctors
The mortality rate of Black newborns in hospital shrunk by between 39% and 58% when Black physicians took charge of the birth, according to the research, which laid bare how shocking racial disparities in human health can affect even the first hours of a person's life.
By contrast, the mortality rate for White babies was largely unaffected by the doctor's race.
The findings support previous research, which has shown that, while infant mortality rates have fallen in recent decades, Black children remain significantly more likely to die early than their White counterparts.
Researchers from George Mason University analyzed data capturing 1.8 million hospital births in Florida between 1992 and 2015 for the new study, which was published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, also known as PNAS.
When cared for by White physicians, Black newborns were about three times more likely to die in the hospital than White newborns, the researchers found. That disparity dropped significantly when the doctor was Black, although Black newborns nonetheless remained more likely than White newborns to die.