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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


SALVADOR, Joaquín et al. Trends in social inequalities in pregnancy care in Barcelona (Spain), 1994-97 versus 2000-03. Gac Sanit [online]. 2007, vol.21, n.5, pp.378-383. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objective: To describe and compare social inequalities in pregnancy care among pregnant women living in Barcelona (Spain) in 2 periods. Methods: Two 4-year periods were compared: 1994-1997 and 2000-2003. The study population consisted of pregnant women living in Barcelona and the control sample was drawn from the Barcelona Birth Defects Registry (n = 905 in 1994-1997; n = 927 in 2000-2003). Medical records and personal interviews with the mothers were used as information sources. The dependent variables were pregnancy planning, prenatal use of folic acid, smoking, the number of obstetric visits, trimester of the first visit, the number of obstetric ultrasound scans, fifth-month diagnostic ultrasound scan, invasive procedures, and smoking cessation. The independent variables were maternal age and social class. Maternal age-adjusted logistic regression models for each dependent variable according to social class were calculated and the results for both 4-year periods were compared. Results: Pregnant women in both manual and non-manual occupational classes showed better results in the second period in 7 out of 10 variables (although the results were not identical in the 2 occupational classes). However, when interclass variations between the 2 periods were compared, differences in 8 out of 10 variables were found: 7 indicators were more favorable in the more privileged classes and only one was more favorable in the less privileged classes. Conclusions: Except for one of the variables analyzed (more than 3 ultrasound scans), the less privileged classes showed poorer results than the more privileged classes when the tendencies in indicators were compared between the two periods. The gap between social classes in pregnancy care is increasing over time.

Keywords : Inequalities; Socioeconomic position; Pregnancy; Care; Public health; Trends.

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