Article

WIC participation and pregnancy outcomes: Massachusetts Statewide Evaluation Project.

American Journal of Public Health (Impact Factor: 4.23). 11/1984; 74(10):1086-92. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.74.10.1086
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The effects of WIC prenatal participation were examined using data from the Massachusetts Birth and Death Registry. The birth outcomes of 4,126 pregnant women who participated in the WIC program and gave birth in 1978 were compared to those of 4,126 women individually matched on maternal age, race, parity, education, and marital status who did not participate in WIC. WIC prenatal participants are at greater demographic risk for poor pregnancy outcomes compare to all women in the same community. WIC participation is associated with improved pregnancy outcomes, including, a decrease in low birthweight (LBW) incidence (6.9 per cent vs 8.7 per cent) and neonatal mortality (12 vs 35 deaths), an increase in gestational age (40.0 vs 39.7 weeks), and a reduction in inadequate prenatal care (3.8 per cent vs 7.0 per cent). Stratification by demographic subpopulations indicates that subpopulations at higher risk (teenage, unmarried, and Hispanic origin women) have more enhanced pregnancy outcomes associated with WIC participation. Stratification by duration of participation indicates that increased participation is associated with enhanced pregnancy outcomes. While these findings suggest that birth outcome differences are a function of WIC participation, other factors which might distinguish between the two groups could also serve as the basis for alternative explanations.

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    ABSTRACT: North Carolina uses Maternity Care Coordination (MCC), an enhanced prenatal care program, to improve birth outcomes for high risk women. The WIC program provides similar services to achieve the same goal. Women in North Carolina Medicaid can choose to partici-pate in either, both, or neither the MCC and WIC programs. The study compares the percentages of low birth weight (LBW)—less than 2500 grams—births and maternal risk characteristics of women: (1) partici-pating in the MCC program only, (2) participating in WIC only, or (3) participating in both programs, to those women who receive con-ventional Medicaid prenatal care. The analysis is further stratified to compare the percentage of LBW births and maternal risks between and among African American and non-Hispanic white women. The study finds that women participating in WIC only had the lowest percent-age of LBW births. African American women participating in the MCC and/or WIC programs had significantly fewer LBW births than their non-participating counterparts. Among non-Hispanic whites, however, the percentage of LBW births for women participating in MCC or MCC/ WIC were similar to women receiving conventional Medicaid prenatal care.
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