As a measure of access to and acceptability of prenatal chromosomal diagnosis among older gravidas, we determined the ratio of use of prenatal diagnosis among women 35 years of age and older in Alabama, California, Manhattan, and Nebraska for the period 1977-1978. Utilization ratios were higher in 1978. Overall, utilization ratios were between 6% and 28%, well below the adjusted rates of 40% to 50% found in certain United States and British localities. Urban women tended to have higher utilization ratios than had rural women, and white women had higher ratios than had black women. Ratios were extremely low for black and rural residents. The oldest women (those ≥40 years), who were at fivefold greater risk than women 35 to 36 years of age, had less than a onefold increase in utilization over the latter groups. The vast majority of older gravidas initiated prenatal care sufficiently early in their pregnancies to receive prenatal diagnosis. Current program strategies need to ensure access to prenatal diagnosis, especially for women ≥40 years of age, women who are black, and women who live in rural areas.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology