Preconception Health of Reproductive Aged Women of the Mississippi River Delta
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Optimal preconception health (PCH) may improve maternal and infant outcomes, priority issues in Mississippi (MS). Our study objective was to compare the PCH of women in the MS Delta to other regions. We analyzed Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data from 2005, 2007, and 2009, and limited analyses to 171,612 non-pregnant black and white women 18–44 years of age. Region was defined as 14 MS Delta counties (MS Delta), remainder of MS (MS non-Delta), Delta states (LA, AR, TN), and non-Delta US states. We calculated adjusted prevalence ratios (aPR) to assess associations between region and 16 indicators of optimal PCH, controlling for demographic characteristics. Healthy PCH factors such as consuming ≥5 fruits and vegetables daily and normal body mass index (18.5 kg/m2 to <25 kg/m2), respectively, were more prevalent in the MS non-Delta (aPR = 1.3; 95 % CI: 1.0,1.7 and aPR = 1.2; 95 % CI: 1.0,1.4), non-MS Delta (aPR = 1.5; 95 % CI: 1.2,2.0 and aPR = 1.3; 95 % CI: 1.1,1.5) and non-Delta states (aPR = 1.7; 95 % CI: 1.3,2.2 and aPR = 1.4; 95 % CI: 1.2,1.6) compared to the MS Delta. Physical activity levels were higher among non-Delta US states compared to the MS Delta (aPR = 1.3; 95 % CI: 1.1,1.4). Household income and race confounded the associations between region and PCH. Reproductive aged women in the MS Delta had poorer PCH, particularly for physical activity and nutrition, than women in other regions. MS Delta service providers and public health practitioners should consider implementing or enhancing lifestyle, nutrition, and physical activity interventions, with a special focus on reducing income-based and racial disparities.