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Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 1993 Jan;72(1):24-30.

Quantity and targetting of antenatal care in Finland.

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Department of Public Health, University of Helsinki, Haartmaninkatu, Finland.


The paper describes the timing of starting antenatal care and the number of visits and their variation measured against women's background characteristics in Finland. The main data source was the 1987 nationwide Medical Birth Registry, while some data were from published statistics and the 1988-90 Medical Birth Registries. These registries cover all antenatal visits, over 80% of which were to special out-patient maternity centers. In 1987, women started antenatal care early (22% before the eighth and 4% in the 16th or later gestation weeks), and the number of visits was high (mean 15.2 visits). Use of antenatal services has been high at least since the early 1970s. Women coming early (< 8 weeks) and at average time (8-12 weeks) were similar to each other, but women coming late (> 12 weeks) were more often socially disadvantaged and had had more previous births, both in analyses stratified by parity, and in logistic regression analyses adjusting for various confounders. When the relative numbers of visits adjusted for gestation length were considered, the differences between the women with many and few visits were similar to the differences between early and late comers. Timing of starting antenatal care did not correlate with the pregnancy outcome. Women having many visits, adjusted for gestation, had poorer outcomes than women with average visits, and women with few visits were in between.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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