617 Standard Terminology for Reporting of Reproductive Health Statistics in the United States* ^94 ^215 The adoption of standard definitions and reporting requirements for repro- ductive health statistics will provide an improved basis for standardization and uniformity in the design, implementation, and evaluation of intervention strategies. The reduction of maternal and infant mortality and the improve- ment of the health of our nation’s women and infants are the ultimate goals. The collection and analysis of reliable statistical data are an essential part of in-depth investigations and incorporate case finding, individual review, and analysis of risk factors. These studies could then yield valuable clinical information for practitioners, aiding them in improved case management for patients at high risk, which would result in decreased morbidity and mortality. Both the collection and the use of statistics have been hampered by lack of understanding of differences in definitions, statistical tabulations, and reporting requirements among state, national, and international bodies. Misapplication and misinterpretation of data may lead to erroneous com- parisons and conclusions. For example, specific requirements for reporting of fetal deaths often have been misinterpreted as implying a weight or ges- tational age for viability. Distinctions can and should be made among the definition of an event, the reporting requirements for the event, and the sta- tistical tabulation and interpretation of the data. The definition indicates the meaning of a term (eg, live birth, fetal death, or maternal death). A reporting Appendix F *Different states use different birth weight and gestational age criteria to define fetal death. The Committee on Obstetric Practice of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that perinatal mortality statistics be based on a gestational weight of 500 g.
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