Pregnancy Characteristics and Outcomes among Women at Risk for Disability from Health Conditions Identified in Medical Claims

UMMS Affiliation

Commonwealth Medicine, Center for Health Policy and Research; Department of Quantitative Health Sciences

Publication Date


Document Type



Clinical Epidemiology | Epidemiology | Female Urogenital Diseases and Pregnancy Complications | Health Services Administration | Health Services Research | Maternal and Child Health | Obstetrics and Gynecology | Women's Health


BACKGROUND: Women with disabilities are at risk for poor birth outcomes. Little is known about specific potentially disabling health conditions and their effects on pregnancies. Using hospital claims, we identified women at risk for disability and evaluated the relationship between disability risk and demographic characteristics, pregnancy risks, and infant and maternal outcomes.

METHODS: The 2006 through 2009 Massachusetts Pregnancy to Early Life Longitudinal data system linked birth certificate and hospital claims one year pre-pregnancy through delivery. Access Risk Classification System categorized International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification/Current Procedural Terminology codes into disability risk groups (no/limited vs. medium/high). Generalized estimating equations evaluated the association between disability risk and infant and maternal outcomes.

RESULTS: Of 221,867 women, 14,701 (6.6%) were at medium or high risk of disability. Health conditions were classified as circulatory (23%), musculoskeletal (10%), nervous system/sensory (13%), other physical (19%), two or more physical (5%), mental illness (24%), and comorbid mental/physical (6%). Women at risk of disability were more likely than others to have socioeconomic and pregnancy risks, and adverse infant and maternal outcomes. Socioeconomic and risk profile varied by health condition category. Adjusted risk ratios for preterm birth ranged from 1.2 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1-1.4) for women with nervous system/sensory diagnoses to 1.6 (95% CI, 1.4-1.9) for women with two or more physical diagnoses; risk ratios for maternal delivery hospitalization for more than 5 days ranged from 1.5 (95% CI, 1.2-1.9) for women with musculoskeletal diagnoses to 3.0 (95% CI, 2.5-3.6) for women with comorbid mental/physical diagnoses.

CONCLUSIONS: Disability risk identified through claims is associated with poor infant and maternal outcomes. Risk profiles vary by underlying health condition.


disabilities, pregnancy, infant and maternal outcomes

DOI of Published Version



Womens Health Issues. 2016 Sep-Oct;26(5):504-10. doi: 10.1016/j.whi.2016.06.001. Epub 2016 Jul 28. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Women's health issues : official publication of the Jacobs Institute of Women's Health

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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID