Pi Chart showing adequacy of prenatal care. 
Adequacy of prenatal care
The Perinatal Data Center at the March of Dimes offers the latest maternal and infant health-related data through PeriStats, http://www.marchofdimes.com/peristats. PeriStats is a free site that provides easy access to statistics on perterm birth, infant mortality, tobacco use, cesarean section rates and health insurance coverage. For many of these indicators, information is available by race, ethnicity, and maternal age. Data are available for the United States, states, major counties and cities and comparisons can be made across geographic areas. There are over 60,000 graphs, maps and tables on PeriStats. All data are referenced, provide concise bullet points for easy interpretation, and provide the related Healthy People 2010 objective. In addition, graphs, maps and tables are set up so you can easily copy them and place them in your own presentation.

PeriStats also provides some hard-to-find statistics such as the Adequacy of Prenatal Care Index. Users of PeriStats can easily copy charts and use them in their own presentations. PeriStats is a good resource for anyone looking for information on perinatal health. The information is useful for policy-makers and health planners at state, regional and local levels who need to understand maternal and infant health issues and be able to convey the information in simple, easy formats.

Through funding from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, and in collaboration with the New York Academy of Medicine, PeriStats also allows users to search the PubMed/Medline database for literature on nearly fifty related maternal and infant health topics.

Future plans for PeriStats include updating the mortality and natality data in the fall when the new data are available and the addition of birth defects data. PeriStats also publishes an online newsletter with information on the latest data and research findings. Some of these findings will be presented at APHA Annual Meeting in December.

Joann Petrini, PhD, MPH, director of the Perinatal Data Center, will be doing an oral presentation titled “Quantifying the overlap between prematurity and birth defects.” The presentation will present the findings of research in which the overlap between birth defects and preterm births was quantified for 13 states, approximately 25 percent of all births in the United States. In addition, Joann will be doing a poster presentation on the “Financial costs of prematurity for business.” You can also meet other members of the Perinatal Data Center at a poster presentation titled “Preterm, near-term, and post-term: The changing distribution of gestational age” and learn about how gestational age has decreased and the impact on birthweight.