Photo by Amila Pradeep/FlickrCC

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By Meg Bryant/Healthcare Dive

Dive Brief:

  • Access to health services in utero and during early childhood improves not only the health outcomes of those children but of their offspring as well, in terms of higher average birth weight and reduced incidence of very low birth weight, a new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research finds.
  • The researchers analyzed data in the 1994-2015 Vital Statistics Natality files to see the impact of an individual’s early Medicaid eligibility on later offspring’s health at birth. All of the infants’ mothers were born between 1979 and 1986, when changes in eligibility rules led to big uptick in prenatal Medicaid coverage.
  • They found that a 10% rise in the first generation’s in utero Medicaid eligibility raises the second generation’s average birth weight by 4.4 grams and lowers the incidence of very low birth weight by 0.1%…

Read the full story at

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