Minority, Single Women, Teenagers in New Jersey Less Likely Than Others To Receive Prenatal Care, Report Finds
Teenagers, minorities and single women in New Jersey all have a higher risk of poor birth outcomes and also are less likely than others to receive early prenatal care, according to a report released on Wednesday by state Health Commissioner Heather Howard, the Newark Star-Ledger reports. In February, Howard appointed the Prenatal Care Task Force to recommend ways to improve access to early prenatal care and examine the racial and ethnic disparities in the state.
The task force report, based on data from 1990 to 2004, found that across all racial and ethnic groups, uninsured women had the lowest rate of trimester prenatal care at 73% and that women with private insurance had the highest rate at 96%. The overall average for prenatal care was 89%.
The task force recommended increased preconception health awareness, promotion of equity in birth outcomes and assurance of availability of early prenatal services for women living in areas with hospital closures or reductions in obstetrical services.
Howard will present the findings on Thursday at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey's Ninth Annual Perinatal Health Disparities Conference (Stewart, Newark Star-Ledger, 9/3).
The report is available online (.pdf).