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Study: Women who receive preventive oral health care have fewer birth complications

Ian Kreher

Announces a press release published in theHartford Business Journal:

 

Hartford managed care provider Aetna Inc. has released a study showing that women who received preventive dental care had fewer birth complications than those who didn't.

The study published online by the American Journal of Public Health was conducted by Columbia University College of Dental Medicine and the Mailman School of Public Health with Aetna's dental division.

"This study shows the importance of preventive dental treatment for women who are planning to start a family," said study leader Dr. David Albert, associate professor at the Columbia's College of Dental Medicine. "Women can help improve the overall quality of life for themselves and their child by staying in good dental health."

It found that the premature delivery rate was 10.1 percent for those not receiving dental treatment and 7.6 percent for those receiving preventive care.

The study also reports that the low birth weight rate was 5 percent for those not receiving dental treatment and 4.6 percent or lower among the groups receiving treatment.

"These findings lead us to believe that pregnant women who actively seek dental care are more likely to adopt a wellness philosophy which carries over to other areas of their health," said Dr. Mary Lee Conicella, Aetna's chief dental officer. "We believe that these women were more likely to seek all types of preventive care, versus women who did not seek dental care."

The study was carried out between Jan. 1, 2003 and Sept. 30, 2006. Researchers looked at medical and dental insurance data for 29,000 pregnant women who Aetna says gave permission to examine their health records.