Disparities in high risk prenatal care adherence along racial and ethnic lines

Molly M. Stegman, Elizabeth Lucarelli-Baldwin, Serdar H. Ural

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review


The term “high-risk pregnancy” describes a pregnancy at increased risk for complications due to various maternal or fetal medical, surgical, and/or anatomic issues. In order to best protect the pregnant patient and the fetus, frequent prenatal visits and monitoring are often recommended. Unfortunately, some patients are unable to attend these appointments for various reasons. Moreover, it has been documented that patients from ethnically and racially diverse backgrounds are more likely to miss medical appointments than are Caucasian patients. For instance, a case-control study retrospectively identified the race/ethnicity of patients who no-showed for mammography visits in 2018. Women who no-showed were more likely to be African American than patients who kept their appointments, with an odds ratio of 2.64 (4). Several other studies from several other primary care and specialty disciplines have shown similar results. However, the current research on high-risk obstetric no-shows has focused primarily on why patients miss their appointments rather than which patients are missing appointments. This is an area of opportunity for further research. Given disparities in health outcomes among underrepresented racial/ethnic groups and the importance of prenatal care, especially in high-risk populations, targeted attempts to increase patient participation in prenatal care may improve maternal and infant morbidity/mortality in these populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1151362
JournalFrontiers in Global Women's Health
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine

Cite this