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Many Women Do Not Attend Post-Delivery Follow-Up Visits

Those with pregnancy complications more likely to attend primary care visits after delivery

THURSDAY, Feb. 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Many women do not attend recommended follow-up primary care visits after delivering a child, according to research published online Jan. 29 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Wendy L. Bennett, M.D., M.P.H., of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues retrospectively analyzed commercial insurance and Medicaid claims data for 7,741 women with a complicated pregnancy and 23,599 women without a complicated pregnancy. The authors sought to identify predictors of post-delivery primary care utilization.

The researchers found that, among women with Medicaid, 56.6 percent in the complicated pregnancy group and 51.7 percent in the comparison group attended a primary care visit following delivery. Statistically significant predictors of attending a primary care visit after delivery were non-black race, older age, preeclampsia or diabetes mellitus, and depression. Among women with commercial insurance, 60.0 percent in the complicated pregnancy group and 49.5 percent in the comparison group attended a primary care visit following delivery. Pregnancy complication did not predict a primary care visit.

"Compared to women without pregnancy complications, insured women with hypertensive disorder in pregnancy or diabetes mellitus (but not gestational diabetes mellitus) were more likely to attend primary care visits within one year after delivery, but rates were still lower than recommended," the authors write.

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