PRENATAL CARE: Minorities Less Likely to Seek Early Care
A CDC analysis of U.S. births revealed that white women are twice as likely as Hispanic and African-American women to seek prenatal care in the first months of their pregnancy, resulting in more health problems for minority women and their infants, the AP/Washington Post reports. In 1997, the percentage of women who waited to see a doctor until after their first trimester was 12.1% for white women, 26.3% for Hispanic women and 27.7% for black women. According to CDC epidemiologist Suzanne Zane, delays in prenatal care can increase the risk for complications such as low birth weight and premature deliveries. Pregnant women also need to be checked early in pregnancy for signs of diabetes, infections, clotting and high blood pressure. Women cited several reasons for failing to seek out prenatal care, including lack of knowledge that they were pregnant, lack of insurance and inability to pay (5/12).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.