Surveillance of preconception health indicators among women delivering live-born infants—Oklahoma, 2000-2003

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MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2007 June 29, 56 (25): 631-4
Promoting preconception health of women is a key public health strategy in the United States to decrease morbidity and mortality associated with adverse maternal and infant outcomes. In 2006, CDC published 10 recommendations for improving the health of women before pregnancy; one recommendation proposed maximizing public health surveillance to monitor preconception health. Toward this end, data collected in Oklahoma (the only state to develop a detailed survey question on preconception health) during 2000-2003 from the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) were analyzed to 1) estimate the prevalence of women who did not report three selected preconception health indicators, (i.e., pre-pregnancy awareness of folic acid benefits, multivitamin consumption, and receipt of health-care counseling) and 2) identify those subpopulations of women who were more likely not to report these indicators. Results of this analysis indicated that 21.5% of Oklahoma women with a recent live birth were not aware of folic acid benefits before they became pregnant, 73.5% did not consume multivitamins at least four times per week during the month before pregnancy, and 84.8% did not receive preconception counseling from a health-care provider. Subpopulations of women with characteristics (at the time of conception) significantly associated (p<0.05) with not reporting at least two of the three indicators included those who were younger, were unmarried, had < or =12 years of education, had no health insurance, had an unintended pregnancy, or had a previous live birth. Other states might use this analysis to help develop preconception health questions to be included in their own PRAMS surveys; Oklahoma state and local health officials can use the results to help prioritize preconception health objectives and identify subpopulations of women in need of targeted programs.

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