Race and pregnancy outcomes.
Early access to prenatal care has not been enough to improve
pregnancy outcomes among minorities, according to a study published in
the March issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The study analyzed data
from the First-and Second-Trimester Evaluation of Risk trial to look at
perinatal loss among women who had early access prenatal care. Of the
more than 35,000 pregnant women in the study, 1.3% of the pregnancies
ended in miscarriage or newborn death. While blacks made up only 5% of
the study population, they accounted for about 16% of the perinatal
mortality. Even after the authors controlled for other demographic
factors, race remained a significant predictor of perinatal mortality.
"Prenatal care, although unequivocally helpful and necessary,
remains insufficient in its present form for minority women," the
researchers wrote. "Therefore, increasing early access to current
prenatal care systems in the effort to minimize racial and ethnic
disparities in perinatal mortality is insufficient."