Rural residence and poor birth outcome in Washington State

  • Abstract

    It is often assumed that poor birth outcomes are more common among rural women than urban women, but there is little substantive evidence to that effect. While the effectiveness of rural providers and hospitals has been evaluated in previous studies, this study focuses on poor birth outcomes in a population of rural residents, including those who leave rural areas for obstetrical care. Rural and urban differences in rates of inadequate prenatal care, neonatal death, and low birth weight were examined in the general population and in subpopulations stratified by risk and race using data from five years (1984-88) of birth and infant death certificates from Washington state. Also examined were care and outcome differences between rural women delivering in rural hospitals and those delivering in urban facilities. Bivariate analyses were confirmed with logistic regression. Results indicate that rural residents in the general population and in various subpopulations had similar or lower rates of poor outcome than did urban residents but experienced higher rates of inadequate prenatal care than did urban residents. Rural residents delivering in urban hospitals had higher rates of poor outcomes than those delivering in rural hospitals. We conclude that rural residence is not associated with greater risk of poor birth outcome. White and nonwhite differences appear to exceed any rural and urban resident differences in rates of poor birth outcome.

  • Authors:

    Larson EH, Hart LG, Rosenblatt RA

  • Journal/Publisher:

    J Rural Health

  • Edition:

    Jun 1992. 8(3):162-170

  • Link to Article

    Access the article here: J Rural Health

  • Citation:

    Larson EH, Hart LG, Rosenblatt RA. Rural Residence And Poor Birth Outcome In Washington State. J Rural Health. Jun 1992 8(3):162-170

  • Related Studies:

    Quality of Obstetrical Care Provided to Rural Versus Urban Residents