The impact of the Women, Infants and Children Food Supplement Program on birth outcome.
OBJECTIVE: Our purpose was to compare the birth outcomes of pregnant women in the Women, Infants and Children Food Supplement Program with women not in the program. STUDY DESIGN: The vital records of 4713 women, 2895 enrolled in the Women, Infants and Children Food Supplement Program and 1812 not enrolled in the program, whose infants were delivered at Wishard Memorial Hospital over 18 months were reviewed with respect to age, education, race, substance habits, trimester of entry into prenatal care, maternal weight gain, and status in the program. The primary outcome variables evaluated were low birth weight, as defined by the delivery of an infant < 2500 gm, and infant mortality. The primary predictor was program participation versus nonparticipation. Analysis was by t test, chi2, and logistic regression models. RESULTS: Black women, women with no prenatal care, and women who smoke were more likely to deliver a low-birth-weight infant. The incidence of low birth weight was 13.1% for nonparticipants versus 10.2% for program participants (p < 0.05). Univariate analysis confirmed program participants to be at significantly less risk for a low-birth-weight delivery (odds ratio = 0.75, p < 0.05). This relation, however, was not significant in the multivariate model (odds ratio = 0.88), indicating that the effect of participating in the program is being confounded by race, entry into prenatal care, and smoking. The overall infant mortality rate was 12.4 per 1000 for participants and 16 per 1000 for nonparticipants (p = not significant). CONCLUSION: Nutritional and nonnutritional benefits to participation in the Women, Infants and Children Food Supplement Program were confirmed. Women enrolled in the program were less likely to deliver a low-birth-weight infant. Multiple variables likely contribute to the poorer outcome for nonparticipants.
Brown, HL; Watkins, K; Hiett, AK
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