JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, U.S. GOV'T, P.H.S.
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Prenatal care and birth outcomes of a cohort of HIV-infected women.

Adequate prenatal care has been linked to improved birth outcomes in general populations but has not been assessed in HIV-infected women. We examined longitudinal claims files and vital statistics records for women in the New York State Medicaid HIV/AIDS data base delivering a singleton from 1985 through 1990. Adequacy of the self-reported number of prenatal visits was assessed by the Kessner index. In logistics models, we estimated the association of prenatal care, illicit drug use, and other maternal characteristics with three outcomes; low birth weight, preterm birth, and small-for-gestational-age. Of 2,254 singletons delivered by this HIV-infected cohort, 28% were low birth weight, 23% were preterm birth, and 20% were small for gestational age. Two-thirds had inadequate prenatal care. Non-drug users had 57 and 26% lower adjusted odds of low birth weight and preterm delivery than drug users. The adjusted odds of low birth weight and preterm birth for women with an adequate number of prenatal visits were, respectively, 48 and 21% lower than for women with inadequate care. Adequate prenatal care was also associated with a 43% reduction in the odds of small-for-gestational-age. An adequate number of prenatal visits by women in this HIV cohort was associated with a significant reduction in all three adverse birth outcomes, but most had inadequate prenatal care. These data support strengthening efforts to bring pregnant, HIV-infected women into care.

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