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Soc Sci Med. 2013 Apr;82:35-42. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2013.01.018. Epub 2013 Jan 29.

Provider and patient influences on the formation of socioeconomic health behavior disparities among pregnant women.

Author information

  • 1Population Research Center, The University of Texas at Austin, 305 E. 23rd Street, G1800 Austin, TX 78712, USA. ehernandez@prc.utexas.edu

Abstract

Socially advantaged individuals are better positioned to benefit from advances in biomedicine, which frequently results in the emergence of social inequalities in health. I use survey and in-depth interviews with pregnant women and their health care providers from four Midwestern clinics in the United States, conducted in 2009 and 2010. I compare socioeconomic differences in intake of two new prenatal supplements: Vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acid. Although socioeconomic differences in omega-3 fatty acid supplementation emerged, there were no differences in the use of vitamin D. I argue that providers may have contributed to the prevention of a health disparity in vitamin D supplementation by implementing an aggressive uniform protocol. These results suggest that providers not only serve as a conduit for the dissemination of new biomedical information, the strength and uniformity of their recommendations have the potential to prevent or exacerbate socioeconomic differences in health behaviors.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID:
23453315
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3587969
Free PMC Article
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