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California Environmental Health Tracking Program

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Last Edited: 2/23/2009

Prematurity and Growth Retardation: Prevention

Can prematurity and growth retardation be prevented?

Besides smoking cessation, access to nutritious food and medical services have been repeatedly observed to result in lower rates of prematurity and growth retardation. A variety of services—related to health, nutrition, and social support—are typically accessed by pregnant women as part of their health care, so it is uncertain which services are primarily responsible for health benefits, and the degree to which the benefits observed from these services may be due to confounding by social class or personal resources.