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Black women are less likely than white women to receive prenatal advice from their doctors on the dangers of smoking and alcohol use, a new study reports.

The National Center for Health Statistics report, which reviewed a 1989 government study of 8,310 new mothers, found that African-American women were "significantly less likely'' than white women to report that they had been told not to smoke when pregnant. Nearly 36 percent of black mothers reported never being told to quit smoking, compared with 29 percent of white mothers.

More than 70 percent of white women said they received advice about the dangers of drinking alcohol during pregnancy; 60 percent of black women said they were given similar warnings. Also, wealthier women tended to receive more information on breast-feeding than did poorer women.

Doctors generally agree that breast-feeding is beneficial to the baby and that expectant mothers should refrain from smoking, drinking, and using drugs during pregnancy.

Minority Doctorates: Although the number of people earning doctoral degrees increased 6 percent between 1982 and 1992, the number of black men earning doctorates declined sharply, a study by the American Council on Education has found.

Among all minorities, African-Americans were the only group whose share of doctoral degrees declined. Black women earned 0.2 percent more doctorates, but the number earned by black men dropped 20 percent over the period of the study.

The number of Hispanic, Asian-American, and Native American doctoral recipients increased during the decade, though whites continued to receive the vast majority of doctorates.

The largest number of doctoral degrees earned by members of minority groups continues to be in education. But just 29 percent of all minority doctorates in 1992 were in that field, down from 40 percent in 1982.

State of Black America: Improved basic education for blacks will continue to be a priority this year for the National Urban League, according to a report released last week.

In releasing "The State of Black America 1994,'' John E. Jacob, the president and chief executive officer of the league, called on President Clinton and Congress to make "job training and job creation for the disadvantaged a top priority.'' And he called for a "community mobilized around the concept of self-development to produce healthy, smart, productive 21st-century citizens.''

An annual document that examines the status and conditions of African-Americans, the report contains recommendations on education, including expansion of Head Start, school-finance reform, and reauthorization of the federal Chapter 1 program.

Copies of "The State of Black America 1994'' are available for $24.95 each, plus $3 shipping and handling, from A.G. Publications, (212) 274-9600.

Vol. 13, Issue 19

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