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Incomplete birth certificates: a risk marker for infant mortality.

CPQCC Publication
TitleIncomplete birth certificates: a risk marker for infant mortality.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsGould JB, Chavez G, Marks AR, Liu H
JournalAm J Public Health
Date Published2002 Jan
KeywordsAdolescent, Adult, Age Factors, Birth Certificates, Birth Weight, California, Continental Population Groups, Female, Gestational Age, Hispanic Americans, Humans, Infant, Infant Mortality, Infant, Newborn, Male, Maternal Age, Odds Ratio, Prenatal Care, Risk Factors

OBJECTIVES: This study assessed the relationship between incomplete birth certificates and infant mortality.

METHODS: Birth certificates from California (n = 538 945) were assessed in regard to underreporting of 13 predictors of perinatal outcomes and mortality.

RESULTS: Of the birth certificates studied, 7.25% were incomplete. Underreporting was most common in the case of women at high risk for poor perinatal outcomes and infants dying within the first day. Increasing numbers of unreported items were shown to be associated with corresponding increases in neonatal and postneonatal mortality rates.

CONCLUSIONS: Incomplete birth certificates provide an important marker for identifying high-risk women and vulnerable infants. Because data "cleaning" will result in the removal of mothers and infants at highest risk, birth certificate analyses should include incomplete records.

Alternate JournalAm J Public Health
PubMed ID11772766
PubMed Central IDPMC1447393