Author(s): CanoSerral G, RodrguezSanz M, Borrell C, Prez Mdel M, Salvador J
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To describe socioeconomic inequalities in the provision and uptake of prenatal care among women in Barcelona (Spain) between 1994 and 2003. METHODS: Cross-sectional study of women in Barcelona who delivered a child without birth defects. Information was obtained from hospital medical records and a personal interview with women included in the Barcelona Birth Defects Registry, containing a random sample of 2\% of all pregnant women in the city (n = 2299). DEPENDENT VARIABLES: number of obstetric visits, the trimester of the first visit, the number of obstetric ultrasound scans, the fifth-month diagnostic ultrasound scan, invasive procedures, prenatal folic acid intake, pregnancy planning, smoking and smoking cessation. The independent variables were maternal age and social class. Logistic regression models were filted for each dependent variable. RESULTS: In social classes with manual occupations, there was a higher proportion of pregnant women who attended less than six obstetric visits and who attended the first obstetric visit after the first trimester. Moreover, these women were less likely to have undergone an invasive procedure, to have taken folic acid supplements, to have planned the pregnancy, to be non-smokers and to stop smoking. In the more privileged classes, there was a higher proportion of women who attended more than 12 obstetric visits and who underwent more than three ultrasound scans. CONCLUSIONS: Socioeconomic inequalities were found in the provision and uptake of prenatal care in Barcelona. Uptake was greater in the more advantaged social classes but excessive medicalization was found in all classes. Rationalizing the use of healthcare resources and reducing excessive medicalization would reduce inequalities in prenatal care in Barcelona.
This article was published in Gac Sanit
and referenced in Journal of Clinical Case Reports