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MIRI Associate PI Dr. Ramos Podium Speaker at 2023 BIRCWH Meeting

February 1, 2024

Dr. Sebastian Ramos presented at the annual BIRCWH 2023 Annual Meeting on December 5, 2023.

Sebastian Ramos

He was one of only three podium speakers chosen for the entire conference. The abstract was entitled “Association Between Structural Racism and Black/White Infant Mortality Rate Disparity in the United States.” MIRI Associate PI Dr. Erika Werner was second author. The abstract is below:

Background: Racial disparities in Black/White infant mortality rates are well-documented but the association with systemic racism at the United States (US) county level has not been studied.

Objective: To use the Systemic Racism Index (SRI), a county-level index composed of multiple socioeconomic indicators and investigate its relationship to observed differences in racial disparities in infant mortality rates across US counties.

Methods: Using CDC Vital Statistics data (2016-2019), infant mortality rates were calculated for non-Hispanic Black compared to non-Hispanic White populations at the county level. The SRI and its relationship to differences in infant mortality rates by race was studied. Analyses were restricted to counties with more than 50,000 Black residents and at least 20 infant deaths annually to assure model stability. Linear regression analyses of the infant mortality rate were performed and adjusted for education, unemployment and income.

Results: A total of 155 counties, representing 150 million residents and 70% of the US Black population, met inclusion criteria. The rate of infant mortality in the Black population was 13.4 compared to 4.9 per 1000 in the White population. After adjusting for confounders, each standard deviation increase in the SRI score resulted in a 16% increase in the rate of infant mortality (p < 0.001). The disparities in rates were not explained by county-level differences in education (p =0.349), unemployment (p=0.698) or income (p=0.165).

Conclusions: There are marked racial disparities in infant mortality rates at the county level in the US and structural racism is strongly associated with their magnitude.

Dr. Sebastian Ramos Promoted to MIRI PI
Dr. Sebastian Ramos of Obstetrics and Gynecology has been promoted to Principal Investigator at MIRI.
Lowell General Hospital Recognized for Higher Quality + Cost-Efficiency in Maternity Care
Lowell General Hospital is proud to be recognized by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts with a Blue Distinction® Centers+ (BDC+) for Maternity Care designation, as part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.
New MIRI Associate PIs Join the MIRI
In order to further strengthen the connection between the MIRI and investigators involved in complementary work across Tufts Medicine and Tufts University, MIRI created the role of "Associate PI."

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