273647 California Preterm Birth Reduction Strategies

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 3:10 PM - 3:45 PM

Connie Mitchell, MD, MPH , California Department of Public Health, Office of Health Equity, Sacramento, CA
In 2010 California's infant mortality rate (IMR) reached a record low of 4.7 infant deaths per 1,000 live births. According to Callaghan et al. (2006), preterm birth (PTB) is the most common cause of infant mortality nationally and California PTB has fallen from 10.4% in 2009 to 10.0% in 2010. Despite these improvements, disparities persist by race/ethnicity, similar to the IMR. In 2010, 14.4% of African-American infants were born preterm compared to 9.0% for White infants.

While a decline in multiple births and improvements in pregnancy dating have contributed to the decline in PTB nationally, many CDPH programs and initiatives work to reduce PTB and the IMR. Examples include enhanced prenatal services such as nutrition assessment and behavioral health support for low income clients in the California Perinatal Services Program; promotion of preconception and interconception health through the Preconception Health Council , and maternity quality care improvement toolkits developed and disseminated through the California Maternity Quality Care Collaborative. Local programs such as the Black Infant Health program identify pregnant African-American women at risk for poor birth outcomes and assist them in accessing and maintaining appropriate healthcare and social support services. The Adolescent Family Life Program assists pregnant teens to access prenatal and other necessary health care early in pregnancy. The planned implementation of the California Home Visiting program targeting high risk pregnant women should contribute to future reductions in PTB and IMR.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
• Describe the recent percent decline in California’s preterm births and its relationship to the infant mortality rate • List examples of California strategies to reduce the preterm birth percentage and the infant mortality rate.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I oversee programs related to prematurity prevention, infant health and fetal-infant mortality reduction. I am a Public Health Medical Officer working in Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health in the Center for Family Health of the California Department of Public Health. I am a board certified in Emergency Medicine and transitioned to public health after a 20 year career in academic medicine.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.