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OBJECTIVES: To estimate womenâs understanding of the definition of full term and the gestational age at which it is safe to deliver an otherwise healthy pregnancy.
METHODS: A national sample of 650 insured women who recently gave birth were surveyed about their beliefs related to the meaning of full term and the safety of delivery at various gestational ages. Descriptive statistics including means and 95% confidence intervals were calculated for the demographic variables and survey measures; multivariate logistic regression analyses were also performed.
RESULTS: Twenty-four percent of women surveyed considered a baby of 34â36 weeks of gestation to be full term, and 50.8% believed full term to occur at 37â38 weeks of gestation, while only 25.2% considered full term to occur at 39â40 weeks of gestation. In response to,âWhat is the earliest point in pregnancy that it is safe to deliver the baby, should there be no other medical
complications requiring early delivery?â 51.7% choose 34â36 weeks of gestation, and 40.7% choose 37â38 weeks of gestation, while only 7.6% choose 39â40 weeks of gestation.
CONCLUSION: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that elective deliveries not occur before 39 weeks of gestation. However, many
women believe that full term is reached before 37 weeks of gestation, and most believe full term occurs before 39 weeks of gestation. Nearly half believe it is safe to deliver before 37 weeks of gestation, and almost all believe it is
safe to deliver before 39 weeks of gestation. The data reported here suggest that many women believe that term is reached early and that a safe delivery does not require waiting to 39 weeks of gestation.
OBJECTIVES: We considered whether US Blacks experience early health deterioration,
as measured across biological indicators of repeated exposure and adaptation
to stressors. METHODS: Using National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data, we examined allostatic load scores for adults aged 18â64 years. We estimated probability of a high score by age, race, gender, and poverty status and Blacksâ odds of having a high score relative to Whitesâ odds. RESULTS: Blacks had higher scores than did Whites and had a greater probability
of a high score at all ages, particularly at 35â64 years. Racial differences were
not explained by poverty. Poor and nonpoor Black women had the highest and
second highest probability of high allostatic load scores, respectively, and the
highest excess scores compared with their male or White counterparts. CONCLUSIONS: We found evidence that racial inequalities in health exist across
a range of biological systems among adults and are not explained by racial differences in poverty. The weathering effects of living in a race-conscious society may be greatest among those Blacks most likely to engage in high-effort coping.