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Obstet Gynecol. 1998 Jun;91(6):885-91.

Improved birth outcomes associated with enhanced Medicaid prenatal care in drug-using women infected with the human immunodeficiency virus.

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Center for Research in Medical Education and Health Care, Department of Medicine, Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA 19107-5083, USA.



To evaluate the effectiveness of an intervention designed to enhance Medicaid prenatal care in improving birth outcomes of drug-using women infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).


Medicaid and vital statistics records were linked for 353 HIV-infected drug-using women delivering in 1993 and 1994 while enrolled in New York State Medicaid. Of these, 68% were treated by providers participating in the Prenatal Care Assistance Program, designed to provide case management, improved continuity, referral services, and behavioral risk reduction counseling. In a series of logistic models, we estimated adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of low birth weight (less than 2500 g) and preterm delivery (before 37 weeks), comparing women using and not using the program.


Women using the Prenatal Care Assistance Program were significantly less likely, after adjustments were made for maternal characteristics, to have low birth weight infants and preterm deliveries (OR 0.52, 95% CI 0.31, 0.89; and OR 0.57, 95% CI 0.34, 0.97, respectively). Adding measures of greater adequacy and continuity of prenatal care to the models explained just over 20% of the Prenatal Care Assistance Program's protective effect. The addition of maternal high-risk behavior, HIV-focused care, and drug use treatment variables altered program effect estimates less profoundly (together accounting for 4 and 9% of the program's protection against low birth weight and preterm delivery, respectively).


The Prenatal Care Assistance Program appeared to be successful in reducing the incidence of low birth weight and preterm delivery in this high-risk population. The program's success can be attributed, in part, to increased adequacy and continuity of prenatal care and, to a lesser extent, to more frequent receipt of special services and reduced maternal high-risk behaviors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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