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Recent Evidence on the Effectiveness of Prenatal Care

      Objective.—To assess the evidence of effectiveness of prenatal care.
      Design.—A 2-day conference with commissioned papers with summary at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
      Outcome Measures.—Effectiveness of prenatal care in preventing prematurity, intrauterine growth restriction, and birth defects and in improving women's health.
      Conclusions.—Current technology provides limited ability to prevent adverse fetal outcomes but may do much to ameliorate morbidity. However, the latter is not well assessed in data systems. In contrast, the opportunity to improve women's health appears much greater, but doing so is hampered by a number of structural and attitudinal barriers.

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