A new study has found that Black newborns have a significantly higher chance of dying under the care of white doctors when compared against those treated by Black doctors.
The study, which was published on Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, analyzed data from 1.8 million births in Florida between 1992 and 2015.
The death rate for Black newborns was reduced by between 39 percent and 58 percent when a Black doctor was in charge of their care as compared against those cared for by white doctors. The study authors found Black doctors caring for newborns saw a mortality rate of 463 deaths per 100,000 births, compared with 720 deaths per 100,000 births for Black newborns under the care of white doctors. At hospitals where more Black babies are delivered, these disparities were even more pronounced.
“The findings suggest that Black physicians outperform their White colleagues when caring for Black newborns,” the authors noted.
A correlation was not found between doctor’s race and the mortality rate of white babies.
Data continues to confirm that Black newborns remain three times more likely to die in than white newborns, but the recent study found that this mortality rate is cut when Black newborns are cared for by Black doctors.
The authors of the study did not offer an explanation for the disparities, but encouraged hospitals and organizations to “invest in efforts to reduce such biases and explore their connection to institutional racism.”
The mortality rate of Black mothers was not significantly impacted by the race of the physician treating them, the study found.