ERIC Number: ED224593
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Nov
Reference Count: 0
The Prevention of Prematurity: A Strategy to Reduce Infant Mortality in the District of Columbia.
The infant mortality rate in the District of Columbia is higher than that for any other state. This high rate stems from the great number of infants born seriously underweight and reflects the area's high percentage of births to impoverished black women. Efforts to reduce the mortality rate have centered around the medical treatment approach, which attempts to improve the underweight infant's chances of survival. This approach has several disadvantages for the infant, including risk of death, the possibility of physical handicaps and learning disabilities, increased illness, and parental abuse and neglect. This method also is quite costly to the public. Alternatively, the problems of underweight infants could be alleviated by a preventive program to reduce the incidence of premature birth. Although barriers to such a program exist and identification of the specific factors which reduce low birth weight and infant mortality is difficult, the success of preventive approaches to reducing infant mortality has been documented in several studies. A low-cost preventive program targeted by geographic area and limited to low-income women at high risk is necessary and feasible, but policy and coordinated community action to prevent prematurity is also required. (Nineteen tables provided in the text and appendices present pertinent data concerning infant mortality; a selected bibliography is also given.) (RH)
Descriptors: Blacks, Community Problems, Comparative Analysis, Cost Effectiveness, High Risk Persons, Incidence, Infant Mortality, Intervention, Medical Services, Poverty, Premature Infants, Prenatal Influences, Prevention, Racial Differences, Tables (Data)
Greater Washington Research Center, 1717 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Suite 403, Washington, DC 20036-2076 (Paper, $15.00; student price, $7.00).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Greater Washington Research Center, Washington, DC.
Identifiers: Birth Weight; District of Columbia; Prenatal Care
Note: Background paper prepared for the Greater Washington Research Center's Task Force on Local Government Response to Fiscal Pressure.