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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

UAB Researchers Examine Disparities in Prenatal Care among U.S. and Foreign-born Women

In a study led by University of Alabama at Birmingham alumna Dr. Samantha S. Goldfarb, currently at Florida State University, and Dr. Martha S. Wingate, associate professor in UAB’s department of health care organization and policy, differences in prenatal care utilization (PNCU) between American and foreign-born women who have chronic conditions (such as diabetes or hypertensive disorder) were assessed. Using 2011–2012 data from the National Center for Health Statistics Natality Files, the researchers conducted a cross-sectional analysis to determine links between nativity (U.S. versus foreign born), evidence of a chronic condition, and PNCU.

After adjusting for particular maternal attributes, despite having chronic conditions that put them at increased risk for adverse outcomes, women born outside of the United States were less likely to receive intensive or adequate PNCU and more likely to receive intermediate and inadequate PNCU, in comparison with women born in the United States. No significant disparities for not receiving any care were discovered between the two groups.

“These findings suggest that foreign-born women may be receiving some form of prenatal care, but adequacy of care is likely to be lower compared to U.S.-born counterparts, even among those with chronic conditions,” note Drs. Goldfarb and Wingate.

UAB co-investigators in the study are Ms. Whitney Smith and Ms. Anne E. Epstein, doctoral students and graduate research assistants in the department of health care organization and policy. Another co-investigator, Ms. Stevie Burrows, is an alumna of the UAB program.

“Disparities in Prenatal Care Utilization Among U.S. Versus Foreign-Born Women with Chronic Conditions” was published online in May in the Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health.

Journal article: