The aim of this study from Liu et al. was to assess the impact of the Fetal Medicine Foundation (FMF) first trimester screening algorithm for pre-eclampsia on health disparities in perinatal death among minority ethnic groups.
All women who underwent first trimester pre-eclampsia risk assessment using either the NICE screening checklist or the FMF multimodal approach. Women considered at high-risk in the FMF cohort were offered 150 mg aspirin before 16 weeks' gestation, serial growth scans and elective birth at 40 weeks.
The study found that in the NICE cohort, the perinatal death rate was significantly higher in non-white than white women (7.95 versus 2.63/1000 births). Following the introduction of FMF screening, the perinatal death rate in non-white women fell from 7.95 to 3.22/1000 births, such that it was no longer significantly different from the perinatal mortality rate in white women (3.22 versus 2.55/1000 births).
The study concluded that first trimester combined screening for placental dysfunction is associated with a significant reduction in perinatal death in minority ethnic women. Health disparities in perinatal death among ethnic minority women demand urgent attention from both clinicians and health policy makers. The data of this study suggest that this ethnic health inequality may be avoidable.
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