Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Are four prenatal visits enough?

Date:
April 12, 2013
Source:
BioMed Central Limited
Summary:
Reanalysis of the World Health Organization’s  Antenatal Care Trial (WHOACT) shows that there is an increased risk of fetal death at between 32 and 36 weeks for women who have a reduced prenatal care package. Original analysis of the WHOACT concluded that reducing prenatal visits of low risk women from eight to four was not detrimental to their or their babies’ health and could cut costs. Based on this advice some countries have lowered the number of routine prenatal visits . However, in light of the 2010 Cochrane review, which suggested that reduced prenatal visits was in fact detrimental to health, the WHOACT data was reanalyzed by an international group of researchers. Once the data was adjusted for maternal risk (such as smoking, age, education) the group found that there was an increased risk of fetal death for the women who had reduced numbers of prenatal visits.

Reanalysis of the World Health Organization's Antenatal Care Trial (WHOACT) shows that there is an increased risk of fetal death at between 32 and 36 weeks for women who have a reduced antenatal care package, finds research published in BioMed Central's open access journal Reproductive Health.

Original analysis of the WHOACT concluded that reducing antenatal visits of low risk women from eight to four was not detrimental to their or their babies' health and could cut costs. Based on this advice some countries have lowered the number of routine antenatal visits .

However, in light of the 2010 Cochrane review, which suggested that reduced antenatal visits was in fact detrimental to health, the WHOACT data was reanalyzed by an international group of researchers. Once the data was adjusted for maternal risk (such as smoking, age, education) the group found that there was an increased risk of fetal death for the women who had reduced numbers of antenatal visits. Specifically, for high risk women the risk of fetal death at 36 weeks of less was 80% higher while for low risk women it increased by 50%.

The increase risk of fetal death was highest between 32 and 36 weeks. Discussing the impact of their results Dr Joshua P Vogel from the World Health Organization explained, "This increased risk of fetal death is linked to a reduced number of antenatal visits, but this may be due to differences in settings, content and quality of care. The timing and quality of visits is also important -- reduced numbers of visits may miss important windows when fetuses are still at risk."

"After a century of blind faith, this paper provides probably the first direct evidence from a randomized trial that routine antenatal visits for healthy pregnant women do make a difference" finds Prof Justus Hofmeyr from University of the Witwatersrand/Fort Hare. He continued, "An increased number of routine visits may detect asymptomatic conditions such as pre-eclampsia, fetal growth restriction or reduced fetal movements earlier, allowing more timely intervention. The importance of the content and quality of routine antenatal care should not be lost to policymakers when decisions about numbers of visits with the available resources are being made."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BioMed Central Limited. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Joshua P Vogel, Habib Abu Ndema, Joγo Paulo Souza, Metin A Gόlmezoglu, Therese Dowswell, Guillermo Carroli, Hassan S Baaqeel, Pisake Lumbiganon, Gilda Piaggio, Olufemi T Oladapo. Antenatal care packages with reduced visits and perinatal mortality: a secondary analysis of the WHO Antenatal Care Trial. Reproductive Health, 2013; 10 (1): 19 DOI: 10.1186/1742-4755-10-19
  2. G Justus Hofmeyr, Ellen D Hodnett. Antenatal care packages with reduced visits and perinatal mortality: a secondary analysis of the WHO antenatal care trial - Comentary: routine antenatal visits for healthy pregnant women do make a difference. Reproductive Health, 2013; 10 (1): 20 DOI: 10.1186/1742-4755-10-20

Cite This Page:

BioMed Central Limited. "Are four prenatal visits enough?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130412084539.htm>.
BioMed Central Limited. (2013, April 12). Are four prenatal visits enough?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 14, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130412084539.htm
BioMed Central Limited. "Are four prenatal visits enough?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130412084539.htm (accessed September 14, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) — A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contagious Respiratory Illness Continues to Spread Across U.S.

Contagious Respiratory Illness Continues to Spread Across U.S.

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 12, 2014) — Hundreds of children in several states have been stricken by a serious respiratory illness that is spreading across the U.S. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Batters Sierra Leone Economy Too

Ebola Batters Sierra Leone Economy Too

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 12, 2014) — The World Health Organisation warns that local health workers in West Africa can't keep up with Ebola - and among those countries hardest hit by the outbreak, the economic damage is coming into focus, too. As David Pollard reports, Sierra Leone admits that growth in one of the poorest economies in the region is taking a beating. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Care Workers 'Chasing' Ebola Outbreak

Health Care Workers 'Chasing' Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Sep. 12, 2014) — The worst known Ebola outbreak is proving extremely difficult to contain. Hospitals are full, and victims of the virus are suffering in the streets. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:  

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile iPhone Android Web
    Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins