Sociodemographic factors and the quality of prenatal care

Am J Public Health. 1991 Aug;81(8):1023-8. doi: 10.2105/ajph.81.8.1023.


Background: In this study, maternal sociodemographic factors are examined in relationship to the quality of prenatal health services US women receive.

Methods: Data from the 1980 National Natality Survey and 1980 Fetal Mortality Survey were used for the analysis. Indicator variables for prenatal care quality are the percentages of prenatal visits at which blood pressure and urine were tested, the performance of hemoglobin or hematocrit tests, and the presence or absence of advice regarding salt restriction and diuretics usage during pregnancy.

Results: Distribution of the basic examinations in prenatal care vary according to marital status, parity, education, and residence in a metropolitan or nonmetropolitan county. The advice received concerning salt and diuretics usage was also influenced by sociodemographic variables.

Conclusions: The analyses reveal that prenatal care is not of even minimally acceptable quality for many women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Pressure Determination
  • Counseling
  • Diuretics / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Hematocrit
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Care / standards*
  • Quality of Health Care*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Sodium, Dietary / administration & dosage
  • United States
  • Urine / chemistry


  • Diuretics
  • Sodium, Dietary