A look at a Hispanic and African American population in an urban prenatal diagnostic center: Referral reasons, amniocentesis acceptance, and abnormalities detected

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To describe the Hispanic and African-American population referred to our inner city Los Angeles Prenatal Diagnostic Center. To evaluate trends in referral reasons, amniocentesis acceptance, and to assess the number and types of fetal abnormalities found from 1995 to 2001.


A retrospective study using the data from 3085 daily log entries on patients referred for prenatal counseling. The data included race, age, referral reason, amniocentesis decision and results, and fetal abnormalities.


The population was 76% Hispanic and 22% African American. Most referrals were for advanced maternal age (42%) and maternal serum screening (28%). The overall amniocentesis acceptance rate was 52%; advanced maternal age amniocentesis acceptance rate was 46%, and maternal serum screen positive amniocentesis acceptance rate was significantly higher at 64%. There was a significant difference between the overall amniocentesis acceptance rate for Hispanics (48%) and African Americans (63%). There was also a significant downward trend in amniocentesis acceptance between 1995 (63%) and 2001 (39%). Amniocentesis acceptance was significantly greater among patients who were < 35 years of age (65%) than those who were older (47%). An incidence of 7% abnormalities was detected by ultrasound and amniocentesis.


Acceptance of amniocentesis in the Hispanic and African American population in our prenatal diagnostic center is significantly lower than what has previously been reported in the literature for Caucasians and reported in California statewide prenatal diagnostic center data for non-MS-AFP. There was a significant decline in amniocentesis acceptance from 1995 to 2001. Our incidence of fetal abnormalities was higher than reported in California statewide data.

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