Mexicos Seguro Popular Appears To Have Helped Reduce The Risk Of Preterm Delivery Among Women With Low Education
Author: Carly Strouse, Ricardo Perez-Cuevas, Maureen Lahiff, Julia Walsh, Sylvia Guendelman
Beginning in 2001 Mexico established Seguro Popular, a health insurance scheme aimed at providing coverage to its large population of uninsured people. While recent studies have evaluated the health benefits of Seguro Popular, evidence on perinatal health outcomes is lacking. We conducted a population-based study using Mexican birth certificate data for 2010 to assess the relationship between enrollment in Seguro Popular and preterm delivery among first-time mothers with singleton births in Mexico. Seguro Popular enrollees with no formal education had a far greater reduction in risk of preterm delivery, while enrollees with any formal education experienced only slight reduction in risk, after maternal age, marital status, education level, mode of delivery, and trimester in which prenatal care was initiated were controlled for. Seguro Popular appears to facilitate access to health services among mothers with low levels of education, reducing their risk for preterm delivery. Providing broad-scale health insurance coverage may help improve perinatal health outcomes in this vulnerable population.