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Am J Public Health. 2002 Dec;92(12):1970-5.

Racial differences in prenatal care use in the United States: are disparities decreasing?

Author information

1
School of Public Health, Department of Maternal and Child Health, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, 35294, USA. alexandg@uab.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We examined trends and racial disparities (White, African American) in trimester of prenatal care initiation and adequacy of prenatal care utilization for US women and specific high-risk subgroups, e.g., unmarried, young, or less-educated mothers.

METHODS:

Data from 1981-1998 US natality files on singleton live births to US resident mothers were examined.

RESULTS:

Overall, early and adequate use of care improved for both racial groups, and racial disparities in prenatal care use have been markedly reduced, except for some young mothers.

CONCLUSIONS:

While improvements are evident, it is doubtful that the Healthy People 2000 objective for prenatal care will soon be attained for African Americans or Whites. Further efforts are needed to understand influences on and to address barriers to prenatal care.

PMID:
12453818
PMCID:
PMC1447361
DOI:
10.2105/ajph.92.12.1970
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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