A recent study has found that home visits by a nurse can make a dramatic difference in the health of babies born to socially disadvantaged mothers - a group that includes unmarried, poor and teenage mothers.

Dr. David Olds of the University of Rochester's Medical Center, said that compared with mothers who received no visits, the group of mothers whom nurses visited had fewer pregnancy complications, better diets and reduced cigarette use.For two years after delivery, nurses continued visiting mothers, making suggestions about child care. Their children made fewer emergency room visits and showed greater developmental progress.