TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — New Jersey has the largest gap in the country between white and African-American babies.

As WCBS 880’s Mike Smeltz reported, the figures are for the percentage of babies who die before their first birthday. A recent report said one in every 100 African-American newborns die, whereas for whites, it is three in every 1,000.

Twenty years ago, a blue ribbon panel looked into the same issue and named racism as a contributing cause to the gap.

And according to recent research, the actual accumulated impact of being discriminated against accelerates the aging process, and the older a mother is when they give birth, the higher the risk that something will go wrong increases.

The Record said state lawmakers will hold hearings into the issue early next year and legislation is being written up that will authorize an extensive study to find out how New Jersey can close the gap.

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