Objective: Engaging women in preconception prevention may be challenging if at-risk women do not perceive increased risk. This study examined predictors of perceiving increased risk for preterm/low birthweight birth. Study Design: Using the Central Pennsylvania Women's Health Study, a population-based sample of reproductive-age women, we analyzed whether sociodemographics, health and pregnancy history, health behaviors, attitudes, or health care utilization predicted risk perception of preterm/low-birthweight birth. Results: Of the 645 women analyzed, 157 (24%) estimated their risk of preterm/low-birthweight birth to be very or somewhat likely. Higher perceived risk was associated with being underweight, previous preterm/low-birthweight birth, having a mother with previous preterm/low-birthweight birth, lower perceived severity of preterm/low birthweight, and smoking. Conclusions: Several factors known to predict preterm/low birthweight did influence risk perception in this study, whereas others did not. Further research on how these factors have an impact on participation in preconception care programs is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64.e1-64.e7
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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