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Pregnancy problems cost $1 billion yearly.

For every 100 babies born in American hospitals, women are hospitalized 22 times for pregnancy complications, a federal study estimates. The complications cost more than $1 billion a year, and occur about 40 percent more frequently in black women than white women, researchers found.

The reasons for the racial disparity and the overall complication rate must be studied more, said co-author Adele Franks, a medical epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. For example, it is not known if complication rates are due mostly to hospitalizations of many women or multiple hospitalizations of fewer women, she said.

Several obstetrics experts said in interviews that the report did not surprise them. "I'm disappointed by it" because some complications could be prevented if women prepare for pregnancy and get proper medical care, said Ronald Chez, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of South Florida. Preparing for pregnancy includes finding a health care provider to assess health and habits, and reading about danger signs that can occur prior to and during pregnancy, he said. Women should also seek prenatal care as early in pregnancy as possible, he said.

--From the Ann/irbor News, 6/18/92
COPYRIGHT 1992 Association of Labor Assistants & Childbirth Educators
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Special Delivery
Date:Sep 22, 1992
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