New Study Links Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric to Decline in Preventive Healthcare for Children of Immigrant Mothers

Originally published on Express Healthcare Management.

A recent study conducted by researchers at Boston University School of Public Health suggests that former President Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric may have contributed to a significant decline in preventative healthcare visits among children born to migrant mothers. The study, published in the journal Health Affairs Scholar, is the first to examine the potential “chilling effect” of immigration status-related fears on healthcare utilization.

The researchers analyzed electronic health record data and healthcare surveys of nearly 11,000 children from immigrant and U.S.-born mothers in Boston, Minneapolis, and Little Rock between 2015 and 2018. They found that Trump’s election in 2016 was associated with a 5% decrease in well-child visits for children of immigrant mothers compared to those of U.S.-born mothers.

Missing well-child visits is concerning due to the essential health checks and referrals that take place during these visits. Delaying such visits may lead to long-term health problems or developmental delays for children. Furthermore, parents miss out on valuable support and connections to resources that could exacerbate existing inequities.