The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3139.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - 11:30 AM

Abstract #61212

Identifying Multiple Gestation Groups Using State-Level Birth and Fetal Death Certificate Data

Jane Lazar1, Milton Kotelchuck2, Mary K Barger, CNM, MPH1, and Angela Nannini, FNP, PhD3. (1) Department of Maternal and Child Health, Boston University School of Public HEalth, 715 Albany Street, Boston, MA 02118-2526, 617-624-5589,, (2) Boston University, 715 Albany Street, T5W, Boston, MA 02118-2526, (3) Bureau of Family and Community Health, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, 250 Washington St. 5th Floor, Boston, MA 02108

Purpose: Birth certificate and fetal death certificate data classify individuals as twins or higher order multiples but do not identify multiple gestation groups. A standardized methodology for states to identify multiple gestation groups will improve the accuracy of the incidence of multiple gestations and further knowledge of the impact of multiple gestations on birth outcomes

Methods: We combined 3 years of Massachusetts birth and fetal death certificate data from 1998-2000 which yielded 247,959 births and 1,358 fetal deaths. We created a unique identifier for each mother by combining the motherís first name, last name, date of birth, and month of delivery. This unique number identified sibling groups. To validate our methodology, we calculated plurality using the unique sibling group number and compared it to plurality reported on the birth and fetal death data.

Results: Our method correctly identified a total of 10,769 records out of 10,845 validated multiple deliveries (99.3%). There were 73 additional multiple deliveries identified using our method that were not identified by the birth and fetal death files. Our method identified only 2 false positives and 49 false negatives in the 3 years of data.

Conclusions: The high number of validated multiple deliveries correctly identified by our algorithm demonstrates the validity of our method. Our method improves the identification of multiple gestations, has proven easy to use, employs state level data, is not restricted to any time period and offers numerous new analytic opportunities. Massachusetts DPH has adopted our method and we encourage other states to do the same.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: MCH Epidemiology, Methodology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Disclosure not received
Relationship: Not Received.

Outstanding Student Papers in Maternal and Child Health

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA