, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 60-71
Date: 14 Dec 2010

Chronic Diseases and Related Risk Factors among Low-Income Mothers

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The aim is to describe the burden of chronic disease and related risk factors among low-income women of reproductive age. We analyzed population-based data from the 2005–2006 Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) for 14,990 women with a live birth in 7 states. We examined the prevalence of selected chronic diseases and related risk factors (preexisting diabetes, gestational diabetes, chronic hypertension, pregnancy-induced hypertension, obesity, smoking or binge drinking prior to pregnancy, smoking or excessive weight gain during pregnancy, and postpartum depressive symptoms) by Federal Poverty Level (FPL) (≤100% FPL; 101–250% FPL; >250% FPL). Approximately one-third of women were low-income (≤100% FPL), one-third were near-low-income (101–250% FPL), and one-third were higher-income (>250% FPL). Compared to higher-income women, low-income women were significantly more likely to smoke before or during pregnancy (34.2% vs. 14.4%, and 24.8% vs. 5.4%, respectively), be obese (22.2% vs. 16.0%), experience postpartum depressive symptoms (23.3% vs. 7.9%), have 3 or more chronic diseases and/or related risk factors (28.1% vs. 14.4%) and be uninsured before pregnancy (48.9% vs. 4.8%). Low-income women of reproductive age experienced a higher prevalence of selected chronic diseases and related risk factors. Enhancing services for these women in publicly-funded family planning clinics may help reduce disparities in pregnancy and long-term health outcomes in the poor.