The Minnesota Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) is an ongoing, population-based surveillance system designed to identify and monitor selected maternal experiences and behaviors that occur before and during pregnancy and during the child's early infancy among a stratified sample of women delivering a live birth. PRAMS began as part of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) initiative to reduce infant mortality and low birth weight. The objectives for PRAMS are: 1) to collect population-based data of high scientific quality on topics relating to pregnancy and early infancy, 2) to conduct data analyses in order to increase understanding of maternal behaviors and experiences during pregnancy and early infancy, and their relationship to health outcomes, 3) to translate results from analyses into useable information for planning and evaluation of public health programs and policy, and 4) to build state capacity for collecting, analyzing, and translating data to address relevant maternal and infant health issues. Minnesota-specific objectives include addressing the large disparities in pregnancy-related health that are masked by the relatively small size of Minnesota's minority populations and to provide useful results to inform and influence public health planners throughout the state. Minnesota PRAMS contributes to the mission of the Minnesota Department of Health to "protect, maintain and improve the health of all Minnesotans" by contributing to key MDH goals, most importantly, that all Minnesotans are given a healthy start in life. Minnesota PRAMS collects information from Minnesota-resident mothers who had a live birth in Minnesota within the last three to six months. Mothers are selected using a monthly stratified, systematic sample of recently filed birth certificates. Currently, U.S.-born African American and American Indian women are oversampled as these are priority higher-risk populations. Mothers are offered the survey by mail and later by telephone. The monthly samples are combined into an annual file, weighted for non-response, non-coverage and sample design. Results from MN PRAMS are used to provide weighted annual estimates of experiences and behaviors of Minnesota-resident women who had a live birth in Minnesota that year.

Public Health Relevance

Minnesota PRAMS is relevant to public health because it provides the approximate number of women in the state who had certain health behaviors or experiences related to pregnancy, as well as identifies subgroups at higher risk. State programs use these results to evaluate the success of existing activities, laws and policies serving pregnant women and infants and to develop programs to address emerging areas of need. Finally, researchers use PRAMS results to explore the relationships between specific behaviors and experiences and how the health of women and infants is affected.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Chronic Disease Prev and Health Promo (NCCDPHP)
Research Project--Cooperative Agreements (U01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZDP1-DYB (02))
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Brown, Michael
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Minnesota State Department of Health
St. Paul
United States
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Kozhimannil, Katy B; Attanasio, Laura B; Hardeman, Rachel R et al. (2013) Doula care supports near-universal breastfeeding initiation among diverse, low-income women. J Midwifery Womens Health 58:378-82