(HealthDay News) – The ectopic pregnancy rate is higher among Medicaid beneficiaries than the privately insured, according to a study published in the April issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Noting that the ectopic pregnancy rates reported among privately insured women and regional health care provider populations range from 1.6–2.45%, Debra B. Stulberg, MD, and colleagues from the University of Chicago in Illinois used Medicaid administrative claims records to determine the rate of ectopic pregnancies among Medicaid beneficiaries in New York, California, and Illinois from 2000–2003.

The researchers found that the ectopic pregnancy rate was 2.38% in New York, 2.07% in California, and 2.43% in Illinois. In all states, black women were at significantly higher risk than white women (relative risk, 1.26) and older women were at significantly higher risk than younger women.

“Medicaid beneficiaries in these three states experienced higher rates of ectopic pregnancy than reported for privately insured women nationwide in the same years,” Stulberg and colleagues conclude. “Relying on private insurance databases may underestimate ectopic pregnancy’s burden in the United States population. Furthermore, within this low-income population racial disparities exist.”

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