Antenatal and perinatal care in Jamaica: do they reduce perinatal death rates?

Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 1994 Apr:8 Suppl 1:86-97. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3016.1994.tb00493.x.


Information concerning 9919 singleton pregnancies delivered in Jamaica in the 2-month period of September and October 1986 and surviving the early neonatal period were compared with 1847 singleton perinatal deaths occurring in the 12-month period from 1 September 1986 to 31 August 1987, classified according to the Wigglesworth schema. Logistic regression was used to assess features of antenatal and intrapartum care that were associated with the different groups of perinatal death after taking account of environmental, maternal and medical factors. In Jamaica, 67% of all mothers took iron during pregnancy. These mothers appeared to have a lower risk of perinatal death. This does not appear to be an artefact related to the gestation at which the mother delivers, and was particularly associated with antepartum fetal deaths. Commencement of antenatal care in the first trimester appeared to reduce the risk of all perinatal deaths, and for intrapartum asphyxia in particular. It is speculated that the mechanism may involve early detection and treatment of anaemia and syphilis. Quality of perinatal care available in the area of residence, as measured by the presence of consultant obstetricians and a paediatric consultant unit, is shown to be significantly related to a reduction in deaths from intrapartum asphyxia, but it appeared not to be related to antepartum fetal deaths.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Asphyxia Neonatorum / epidemiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Fetal Death / epidemiology*
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Infant Mortality*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Jamaica / epidemiology
  • Logistic Models
  • Maternal Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pregnancy