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Health Serv Res. 1989 December; 24(5): 583–598.
PMCID: PMC1065587

The cost effectiveness of prenatal care in reducing low birth weight in New Hampshire.


This study calculates the cost effectiveness of adequate prenatal care in reducing the low birth weight rate for each of three socioeconomic groups of women: those with less than 12 years of education, those with 12 years, and those with more than 12 years. Target low birth weight rates for each group were those actually achieved by New Hampshire women receiving adequate prenatal care within respective education groups. The estimated total cost associated with low birth weight births among the 1981-1984 cohort of New Hampshire resident births was more than $38 million. With universal adequate prenatal care, the low birth weight costs would be less than $32 million, a cost savings of $6.5 million. Since the additional cost of providing adequate prenatal care to all women was estimated to be $2.5 million, the net cost savings were estimated to be $4 million, or $1 million per year. For each additional $1 spent on prenatal care, $2.57 in medical care costs would be saved.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Fisher ES, LoGerfo JP, Daling JR. Prenatal care and pregnancy outcomes during the recession: the Washington State experience. Am J Public Health. 1985 Aug;75(8):866–869. [PubMed]
  • Kleinman JC, Kessel SS. Racial differences in low birth weight. Trends and risk factors. N Engl J Med. 1987 Sep 17;317(12):749–753. [PubMed]
  • Lennie JA, Klun JR, Hausner T. Low-birth-weight rate reduced by the obstetrical access project. Health Care Financ Rev. 1987 Spring;8(3):83–86. [PubMed]
  • Leveno KJ, Cunningham FG, Roark ML, Nelson SD, Williams ML. Prenatal care and the low birth weight infant. Obstet Gynecol. 1985 Nov;66(5):599–605. [PubMed]
  • Moore TR, Origel W, Key TC, Resnik R. The perinatal and economic impact of prenatal care in a low-socioeconomic population. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1986 Jan;154(1):29–33. [PubMed]
  • Showstack JA, Budetti PP, Minkler D. Factors associated with birthweight: an exploration of the roles of prenatal care and length of gestation. Am J Public Health. 1984 Sep;74(9):1003–1008. [PubMed]

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