Black Women In Urban Areas Less Likely To Get Adequate Prenatal Care

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Adequate Prenatal Care

Fewer African-American women living in urban communities are likely to get adequate prenatal care during their pregnancy than white women are, a new study finds, and the main reason could be their negative views about the need for such care.

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The study appears in the August issue of the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved.

Researchers interviewed 246 African-American women during their postpartum hospitalization in Washington, D.C., in 1996 and 1997. They asked women when they began prenatal care visits, how often they kept appointments and what stopped them from keeping appointments.

Of the 246 women, 99 (40 percent) were considered to have "adequate" prenatal care use and 147 (60 percent) had "inadequate" use. Researchers defined care as adequate if the woman began prenatal visits by her fourth month of pregnancy and made at least 80 percent of the expected visits. Care was deemed inadequate if it started after the fourth month or if the woman made less than 50 percent of the visits.

Past research has shown that pregnant women who start prenatal care early and who keep the number of recommended visits are more likely to have higher

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