Healthy People 2020 objectives reflect a shift in healthcare from caring for illness to promotion of wellness. This shift will require patients to access routine preventive medical care. The vast majority of pregnant women in the U.S. receive antenatal care which represents an opportunity to promote preventive care after pregnancy. The objective of this study was to determine whether or not a history of pregnancy was associated with subsequent increased utilization of preventive healthcare services.METHODS:
Data from the 2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) was used for analysis. Chi squared tests and logistic regression were used to test associations between history of obstetric care and a preventive healthcare visit within the prior year, controlling for key confounders.RESULTS:
Final sample included 3,324 women of reproductive age. For women with a history of pregnancy, 64.9% had a preventive medical visit within the past year vs 60.3% for women without a pregnancy history. Women with and without a prior pregnancy were comparable in terms of education, insurance, income and perception of general health. For women with a history of a pregnancy, the odds of having a preventive medical visit in the last year was not higher than women without a history of pregnancy, after adjusting for the variables mentioned. (OR 1.50, 95% CI 0.84–2.69).CONCLUSION:
Women with a prior pregnancy are not more likely to be engaged with the healthcare system for preventive care than women who have not been pregnant. Antenatal care may represent a missed opportunity for promoting preventive care services.