Precious Loss, a new Rocky Mountain PBS Documentary, Premieres Tonight

Colorado has the 5th lowest overall infant mortality rate in the United States at approximately five deaths per 1,000 live births, according to data from the state Department of Public Health and Environment. But within that ranking is one of the nation’s glaring racial disparities.

Colorado’s black infants die three times more often than the state’s white infants. The risk that Latino infants face has increased over time relative to whites. Complications in birth, including low birth weight and preterm or early delivery, are the leading causes of infant mortality.

A new Rocky Mountain PBS News documentary, Precious Loss, examines the racial and ethnic disparities in the state’s infant mortality rate.  The show premieres on air tonight at  7:30.

Ongoing research at Denver Health measures a hormone called cortisol in the hair of pregnant women. Cortisol is released by the adrenal glands and is known as the “fight or flight” hormone. Long term exposure to heightened levels of cortisol can be toxic. In pregnant women, it has been shown to increase the risk of early delivery.

Dr. Camille Hoffman, the lead researcher on the study, believes her findings will help explain why dramatic racial and ethnic disparities exist in preterm birth and infant deaths.

See what experts say, what the the data analysis shows, and hear from families who’ve suffered the most precious of losses, in the new documentary tonight.

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