Evolution of the Five-Minute Apgar Score in the United States, 1978-2012

Nicole DeVille, University of California, Irvine

Since 1953, the Apgar score has been a significant delivery room biomarker for identifying newborns with compromised health. Previous studies have focused on Apgar trends in conjunction with other outcomes at local and state levels, but no long-term studies have been conducted examining Apgar trends on a national level. Utilizing natality data from The National Center for Health Statistics from 1978-2012, the objective of this research is to investigate the evolution of the 5-minute Apgar score over the 35-year time period, examining differences by predictors such as race and birth weight. With advances in medical technology and intervention since the inception of the Apgar score, the expected result is an increase in the average 5-minute Apgar score over time; however, preliminary analyses reveal a steady decline in the average 5-minute Apgar score over time.

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Presented in Poster Session 7: Health and Mortality of Women, Children and Families