By Victor R. Fuchs
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Additional resources for Economic Aspects of Health
1974). Although maternal cigarette smoking substantially retards intrauterine growth (Hasselmeyer et al. 1980), there is little evidence that the advice of medical practitioners has affected this practice. Only approximately 30% of current female smokers of all races quit smoking during pregnancy. Among women of all races who were last pregnant during the period 1965-75, only 35% of cigarette smokers reported receiving any physician advice about smoking (J. Harris, unpublished). Nor can I find any evidence that prenatal care has induced mothers to forego alcohol abuse.
5 again confront us with the problem of fetal selection. I have already suggested that the fetal population varies substantially in the rate of pregnancy termination. The sources of this variation, I further suggested, are largely unobserved. Similarly, infants of the same birth weight may vary considerably in their survival characteristics, with the sources of this heterogeneity also largely unobserved. 5 suggest that those latent characteristics determining the pregnancy termination rate are correlated with those latent characteristics that determine birth weight-specific mortality.
Live births and fetal deaths (Massachusetts, 1975-76). for the lower proportion of preterm deliveries among late initiators of care, but also for the higher proportion of preterm deliveries among mothers who initiated care in the first month. The data almost exclusively cover pregnancies of at least 20 weeks' duration. Hence, the cohort actually observed is likely to be more homogeneous than the original fetal cohort at the time of conception. The selective effect of fetal loss may therefore be less significant.
Economic Aspects of Health by Victor R. Fuchs