Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Collecting Pregnancy Data

The Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) is a surveillance project of CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and State health departments. The PRAMS collects state-specific population-based data on maternal attitudes and experiences before, during, and shortly after pregnancy.

Data is provided that is not available from other sources about pregnancy and data is collected for the first few months after birth. This state-specific data can be used to identify groups of women and infants at high risk for health problems, used to monitor changes in health status, and to measure progress towards goals in improving the health of mothers and infants.

PRAMS was initiated in 1987 because infant mortality rates were no longer declining as rapidly as they had in prior years and the incidence of low birth weight infants had changed little in the previous 20 years. Research has indicated that maternal behaviors during pregnancy may influence infant birth weight, infant mortality, and maternal morbidity rates.

Specifically, PRAMS enables CDC and the states to monitor changes in maternal and child health indicators and monitor information obtained from birth certificates. The findings can be applied to the state’s entire population of women who have recently delivered a live-born infant, but the system not only provides state-specific data but also allows for comparisons among participating states.

Also the data can be used by researchers to investigate emerging issues in the field of maternal and child health. Researchers may request the PRAMS Analytic Research File for studies that involve multiple states by submitting a proposal to CDC.

The system also enables states and local governments to plan and identify other agencies that have the capability to plan maternal and infant health programs and then be able to develop partnerships with those agencies.

For more information, go to www.cdc.gov/prams.