TABLE 3-3 Percentage of U.S. Women Receiving Early Prenatal Care,a by Race, 1970–1988

 

 

 

Nonwhite

 

Ratio

Year

All Races

White

Black

Total

White/Black

1970

67.9

72.4

44.3

46.0

1.63

1971

68.6

73.0

44.3

48.1

1.65

1972

69.4

73.6

49.0

50.6

1.50

1973

70.8

74.9

51.4

52.9

1.46

1974

72.1

75.9

53.9

55.3

1.41

1975

72.3

75.9

55.8

57.0

1.36

1976

73.5

76.8

57.7

58.8

1.33

1977

74.1

77.3

59.0

60.1

1.31

1978

74.9

78.2

60.2

61.4

1.30

1979

75.9

79.1

61.6

62.9

1.28

1980

76.3

79.3

62.7

63.8

1.26

1981

76.3

79.4

62.4

63.8

1.27

1982

76.1

79.3

61.5

63.2

1.29

1983

76.2

79.4

61.5

63.4

1.29

1984

76.5

79.6

62.2

64.1

1.28

1985

76.2

79.4

61.8

63.7

1.28

1986

75.9

79.2

61.6

63.7

1.29

1987

76.0

79.4

61.2

63.4

1.30

1988

75.9

79.4

61.1

63.6

1.30

a Early prenatal care is defined as care beginning in the first trimester.

SOURCE: Published and unpublished data from the National Center for Health Statistics as reported in Children's Defense Fund (Rosenbaum et al., 1991); additional calculations by the Institute of Medicine.

of prenatal care is clearly an important task, and it remains a major challenge for researchers (Culpepper, 1991). For example, where women first receive prenatal care varies according to race. Data from 1982 and 1983, collected during cycle III of the National Survey of Family Growth, show that 80 percent of white women who began prenatal care during the first trimester visited a personal, private physician (as opposed to a hospital, health department, or clinic), whereas only 48 percent of black women receiving early prenatal care did so (National Center for Health Statistics, 1988). Further work is needed to sort out the implications of these and other organizational differences—both in terms of positive and negative consequences.

Recommendations

Improved Data from the Revised Standard Birth Certificate and the 1988 National Maternal and Infant Health Survey. The standard birth certificate



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