1984-87 Boston City Hospital Maternal Health Habits Project
Investigators: Barry Zuckerman, Ralph Hingson, Deborah Frank, & Hortensia Amaro

This study was designed to investigate the effects on infants of various prenatal factors, including the use of alcohol, cigarettes, and illicit drugs; violence; emotional well-being; social support; and life experiences. As part of an ongoing investigation of maternal health behaviors, psychosocial characteristics, and pregnancy outcomes, subjects were continuously recruited from the Women's and Adolescent Prenatal Clinics of Boston City Hospital from July 1984 through June 1987. English- and Spanish-speaking women who were willing to give informed consent and who gave birth by December 31, 1987 were interviewed at least twice - once during the prenatal period at the time of registration to the study and again during the immediate postpartum period. A subset of the participants were also interviewed in the prenatal period at 32 to 36 weeks. Prenatal and postpartum interviews obtained information on patterns of use of cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, and psychoactive drugs; participants' demographic and psychosocial characteristics; and participants' reproductive and general medical histories. Participants also submitted urine samples for toxicological screening. After delivery, mothers' medical records were examined for information documenting reproductive and medical histories, prenatal and intrapartum risk factors, and weight gain during pregnancy. Infants were examined within 8 to 72 hours of delivery by a physician who was blinded to the mothers' prenatal histories. This data set contains 1,226 cases and 2,254 variables.

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