The Emory researchers said the findings for younger Black women were particularly troubling since Georgia has among the worst maternal mortality rates in the nation. Black women in Georgia are three to four times more likely to die when they become mothers than white women, according to a bipartisan state study committee.
Georgia lawmakers passed legislation last year extending Medicaid for low-income mothers from two to six months postpartum in an effort to address the issue. Vice President Kamala Harris led a discussion highlighting the disparities that Black women face in maternal health last month.
The Emory researchers recommended solutions such offering telehealth and other health screening options earlier to Black women. Dr. Gina Price Lundberg, clinical director of Emory Women’s Heart Center, noted many women are reluctant to go to primary care physicians and be given prescriptions for blood pressure medicine, preferring more holistic treatment.
The Emory team also suggested communities provide more grocery stores and supermarkets that sell healthier foods and places for women to exercise, such as walking trails.