The Association between Prenatal Care and Birth Weight among Women Exposed to Cocaine in New York City

JAMA, 1993, Vol. 270, No. 13, 1581-1586

6 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2013

See all articles by Richard Anderson

Richard Anderson

Stevens Institute of Technology, Wesley J. Howe School of Technology Management

Andrew Racine

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) - NY Office; Montefiore Medical Center

Theodore Joyce

CUNY Baruch College - Zicklin School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: October 8, 1993

Abstract

Objectives — Although the association between antenatal cocaine use and adverse birth outcomes has been well documented, relatively little is known about interventions that may ameliorate these consequences. We therefore examined the relationship between prenatal care and birth weight among a population of prenatal cocaine users.

Design — Population-based retrospective analysis.

Patients — All single-gestation live births to white non-Hispanic, black non-Hispanic, and Hispanic residents of New York City who gave birth between 1988 and 1990 with a positive indication for cocaine recorded on birth certificates (N=7923).

Main Outcome Measures — We contrasted mean birth weight and rates of low birth weight (<2500 g) among cocaine users with one to three prenatal care visits, four or more visits, and unknown numbers of visits with users who reported no prenatal care. We used ordinary least squares and logistic regression to control for age, parity, smoking, alcohol, other drugs, weight gain, prepregnancy weight, employment, marital status, participation in the Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants and Children, and method of finance.

Main Results — Adjusted odds ratios of low birth weight for cocaine users with four prenatal care visits or more as compared with those who had none were 0.51 for blacks (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.44 to 0.59), 0.39 for whites (95% CI, 0.23 to 0.66), and 0.37 for Hispanics (95% CI, 0.28 to 0.48). Adjusted mean birth weight differences between users with four visits or more and those with none were 262 g for blacks (P<.001), 247 g for whites (P<.001), and 317 g for Hispanics (P<.001).

Conclusions — The receipt of prenatal care among cocaine users is associated with significant improvements in birth weight. Enrollment of cocaine users in prenatal care may be an effective start to a more comprehensive approach to this problem.

Suggested Citation

Anderson, Richard and Racine, Andrew and Joyce, Theodore J., The Association between Prenatal Care and Birth Weight among Women Exposed to Cocaine in New York City (October 8, 1993). JAMA, 1993, Vol. 270, No. 13, 1581-1586, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2231460

Richard Anderson (Contact Author)

Stevens Institute of Technology, Wesley J. Howe School of Technology Management ( email )

Hoboken, NJ 07030
United States
201-200-2285 (Phone)

Andrew Racine

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) - NY Office ( email )

365 Fifth Avenue, 5th Floor
50 East 42nd Street, 17th Floor
New York, NY 10016-4309
United States

Montefiore Medical Center ( email )

111 East 210th Street
Bronx, NY 10467

Theodore J. Joyce

CUNY Baruch College - Zicklin School of Business ( email )

17 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10010
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

365 Fifth Avenue, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10016-4309
United States

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