Performance Improvement 2001. Effect of Healthy Start on Infant Mortality and Birth Outcomes


This report presents findings on the effects of Healthy Start on prenatal care utilization, key birth outcomes, and infant mortality in the 15 original project areas selected as demonstration sites by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The principal findings are: (1) In eight of the 15 project areas, Healthy Start is associated with improved adequacy of prenatal care utilization. (2) Healthy Start is associated with increases in the adequacy of prenatal care initiation in 4 of the 15 project areas. (3) Healthy Start is associated with improved adequacy of the number of prenatal care visits in 9 of the 15 project areas. (4) Three project areas--New Orleans, New York City, and Philadelphia--show improvements in all measures of prenatal care as a result of Healthy Start. The report also statistically illustrates how Healthy Start contributed to declines in several birth outcomes such as Preterm Rate-- shows significant declines in four project areas; Low Birthweight-- Three projects with statistically significant reductions in the percentage of infants with birthweight less than 2,500 grams; and Infant Mortality Rate-- two project areas, New Orleans and Pittsburgh, Healthy Start is related to a statistically significant decline in the number of infant deaths per thousand live births. The report concludes that Healthy Start is particularly successful at linking women and their families to prenatal care, as shown by improvements in the adequacy of prenatal care utilization in 8 of the 15 original project areas.

AGENCY SPONSOR: Office of the Administrator

FEDERAL CONTACT: Karen Thiel Raykovich, 301-443-0370

PIC ID: 5610.3

PERFORMER: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., Washington, DC