Michael Lu

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Type of Faculty: 
Part Time
Contact Information
10833 Le Conte Avenue Box 951772, CHS 36-070B Los Angeles, CA 90095
Areas of Interest: 

Racial-ethnic disparities in birth outcomes

Michael C. Lu, MD, MPH is a professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and an associate professor of obstetrics & gynecology at UCLA. Dr. Lu received his bachelor’s degrees from Stanford University, master’s degrees from UC Berkeley, medical degree from UC San Francisco, and residency training in obstetrics & gynecology from UC Irvine. He is widely recognized for his research, teaching and clinical care. Dr. Lu received the 2003 National Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology Young Professional Achievement Award and the 2004 American Public Health Association Maternal and Child Health Section Young Professional Award for his research on health disparities.

He recently served on the Institute of Medicine Committee on Understanding Prematurity and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Select Panel on Preconception Care. Dr. Lu teaches obstetrics and gynecology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and maternal and child health at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. He has received numerous awards for his teaching, including Excellence in Teaching Awards from the Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics. Dr. Lu sees patients at the faculty group practice in obstetrics and gynecology at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, and has been selected as one of the Best Doctors in America since 2005.

Selected Publications: 

1.Lu MC. Impact of “non-physician factors” on the “physician factor” of in-vitro fertilization success – Is it the broth, the cooks or the statistics?  Fertil Steril 1999;71:998-1000.


2.Lu MC. Eliminating public funding of prenatal care for undocumented immigrants in California: A cost-benefit analysis.  Am J Obstet Gynecol 2000;182:233-9.


3.Agustines LA, Lin YG, Rumney PJ, Lu MC, Bonebrake R, Asrat T, Nageotte M. Outcomes of extremely low-birth-weight infants between 500-750 g. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2000; 182:1113-6.


4.Stein JA, Lu MC, Gelberg L. Severity of homelessness and adverse birth outcomes. Health Psychology 2000; 19:524-34.


5.Lu MC, Lange LO, Slusser W, Hamilton J, Halfon N. Provider encouragement of breastfeeding: Evidence from a national survey. Obstet Gynecol 2001;97:290-5.


6.Gelberg L, Leake BD, Lu MC, Andersen RM, Wenzel SL, Morgenstern H, Koegel P, Browner CH. Use of contraceptive methods among homeless women for protection against unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases: Prior use and willingness to use in the future.  Contraception 2001;63:277-81.


7.Gelberg L, Leake BD, Lu MC,Anderson R, Nyamathi AM, Morgenstern H, Browner C. Chronically homeless women's perceived deterrents to contraception. Perspect Sex Reprod Health (formerly Family Planning Perspective) 2002;34:278-85.


8.Prentice JC, Lu MC, Lange L, Halfon N. The association between reported childhood sexual abuse and breastfeeding initiation. J Hum Lact. 2002;18:219-26.


9.Lu MC, Prentice JC. The postpartum visit: risk factors for nonuse and association with breast-feeding. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2002;187:1329-36.


10.Lu MC, Halfon N. Racial and ethnic disparities in birth outcomes: A life-course perspective. Maternal and Child Health Journal 2003;7:13-30.


11.Lu MC, Prentice JC, Yu S, Inkelas M, Lange LO, Halfon N. Childbirth education classes: sociodemographic disparities in attendance and the association of attendance with breastfeeding initiation. Matern Child Health J. 2003;7:87-93.


12.Lu MC, Tache V, Alexander G, Kotelchuck M, Halfon N. Preventing LBW: Is prenatal care the answer? J Matern Fetal Neonat Med 2003;13;362-80.


13.Lu MC, Chen BM. Racial-ethnic disparities in preterm birth: The role of stressful life events. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2004 ;191:691-9.


14.Learning from success and failure in psychosocial intervention: an evaluation of low birth weight prevention trials. J Health Psychol. 2005;10:185-95.


15.Lu MC, Fridman M, Korst L, Gregory K, Reyes C, Hobel CJ, Chavez GF. Variations in the Incidence of Postpartum Hemorrhage Across Hospitals in California. Matern Child Health J. 2005;9:297-306.


16.Korst LM, Fridman M, Friedlich PS, Lu MC, Reyes C, Hobel CJ, Gregory K. Hospital Rates of Maternal and Neonatal Infection in a Low-Risk Population. Matern Child Health J. 2005;9:307-16


17.Korst LM, Gregory KD, Lu MC, Reyes C, Hobel CJ, Chavez GF. A Framework for the Development of Maternal Quality of Care Indicators. Matern Child Health J. 2005;9:317-41.


18.Korst LM, Reyes C, Fridman M, Lu MC, Hobel CJ, Gregory KD.. Gestational Pyelonephritis as an Indicator of the Quality of Ambulatory Maternal Health Care Services. Obstet Gynecol. 2006;107:632-40.


19.Lu MC, Kotelchuck M, Culhane J, Hobel CJ, Klerman LV, Thorp J. Preconception care between pregnancies: The content of internatal care. Matern Child Health J. 2006;10:S107-22.


20.Huang JS, Lee TA. Lu MC.  Prenatal Programming of Childhood Overweight and Obesity. Matern Child Health J. 2007;11:461-73.


21.Lu MC. Recommendations for preconception care. Am Fam Physician. 2007;76:397-400.


22.Gelberg L, Lu MC, Leake B, Andersen RM, Morgenstern H, Nyamathi AM. Homeless women: Who is really at risk for unintended pregnancy? Matern Child Health J. 2008;12:52-60.


23.Li J, Vestergaard M, Obel C, Precht DH, Christensen J, Lu MC, Olsen J. Prenatal stress and epilepsy in later life: A nationwide follow-up study in Denmark. Epilepsy Res. 2008;81:52-7.  


24.Dunlop AL, Jack BW, Botallico J, Lu MC, Beckman M, Shellhass S et al. The clinical content of preconception care:  Preconception considerations for women with chronic medical conditions. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2008;199:S310-27.


25.Frey K, Navarro S, Kotelchuck M, Lu MC. The clinical content of preconception care:  Preconception care for men. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2008;199:S389-95.


26.Klerman LV, Jack B, Coonrod DV, Lu MC, Fry-Johnson YW, Johnson K. Frey K, Navarro S, Kotelchuck M, Lu MC. The clinical content of preconception care:  Preconception care for men. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2008;199:S389-95. Care of psychosocial stressors. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2008;199:S362-6.


27.Coonrod DV, Jack BW, Stubblefield P,  Hollier LM, Boggess KA, Cefalo R,  Cox SN, Dunlop AL, Hunter KD, Prasad MR, Lu MC, Conry JA, Gibbs RS, Hogan VK.  The clinical content of preconception care:  Infectious diseases in preconception care. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2008;199:S296-309.


28.Lu MC. We can do better: improving women's health in America. Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2008;20:563-5.


29.Mendelson SG, McNeese-Smith D, Koniak-Griffin D, Nyamathi A, Lu MC. A community-based parish nurse intervention program for Mexican American women with gestational diabetes. J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2008;37:415-25.


30.Li J, Vestergaard M, Obel C, Christensen J, Precht DH, Lu MC, Olsen J.  A nationwide study on the risk of autism following prenatal stress exposure to maternal bereavement. Pediatrics. 2009;123:1102-7.


31.Li J, Vestergaard M, Obel C, Precht DH, Christensen J, Lu MC, Olsen J. Prenatal stress and cerebral palsy: a nationwide cohort study in Denmark. Psychosom Med. 2009;71:615-8.


32.Lu MC, Korst LM, Fridman M, Muthengi E, Gregory KD. Identifying women most likely to benefit from prevention strategies for postpartum hemorrhage. J Perinatol. 2009;29:422-7.


33.Lu MC, Muthengi E, Wakeel F, Fridman M, Korst LM, Gregory KD. Prolonged second stage of labor and postpartum hemorrhage. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2009;22:227-32.


34.Lu MC. Healthcare reform and women's health. Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2009;21:514-20.


35.Lu MC. We can do better: Improving perinatal health in America. J Women’s Health. 2010;19:569-74.


36.Virk J, Li J, Vestergaard M, Obel C, Lu MC, Olsen J. Early life disease programming during the preconception and prenatal period: making the link between stressful life events and type-1 diabetes. PLoS One. 2010;5:e11523.


37.Jones L, Lu MC, Lucas-Wright A, Dillon-Brown N, Broussard M, Wright K, Maidenberg M, Norris K, Ferré C. One Hundred Intentional Acts of Kindness toward a Pregnant Woman: building reproductive social capital in Los Angeles. Ethn Dis. 2010;20:S2-36-40.


38.Lu MC, Jones L, Bond MJ, Wright K, Pumpuang M, Maidenberg M, Jones D, Garfield C, Rowley DL. Where is the F in MCH? Father involvement in African American families. Ethn Dis. 2010;20:S2-49-61.


39.Lu MC, Kotelchuck M, Hogan V, Jones L, Wright K, Halfon N. Closing the Black-White gap in birth outcomes: a life-course approach. Ethn Dis. 2010;20:S2-62-76.


40.Abdou CM, Schetter CD, Jones F, Roubinov D, Tsai S, Jones L, Lu MC, Hobel C. Community perspectives: mixed-methods investigation of culture, stress, resilience, and health. Ethn Dis. 2010;20:S2-41-8.


41.Lu MC, Kotelchuck M, Hogan VK, Johnson K, Reyes C. Innovative strategies to reduce disparities in the quality of prenatal care in underresourced settings. Med Care Res Rev. 2010;67:198S-230S.


42.Halfon N, Lu MC. Gestational weight gain and birthweight. Lancet. 2010;376:937-8.


43.Lu MC. Healthcare reform and women's health: A life-course perspective. Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2010;22:487-91.


44.Wadhwa PD, Entringer S, Buss C, Lu MC. The contribution of maternal stress to preterm birth: Issues and considerations. Clin Perinatol. 2011;38:351-84.


45.Lu MC. Boumediene S. Ray P. A 2020 Vision for Women’s Health. Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2011;23:454-9.


46.Alio AP, Bond MJ, Padilla YC, Heidelbaugh JJ, Lu MC, Parker WJ. Addressing policy barriers to paternal involvement during pregnancy. Matern Child Health J. 2011;15: 425-430


47.Heinrich J, Lu MC, Macrae J, Morris T, Hopson DP, Somsak J, Spitzgo RH. Foreword from Associate Administrators of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2012;23(3 Suppl):2


48.Lu MC. Gee RE. What every obstetrician should know about Title V and Title X. Obstet Gynecol. 2012;120:513-5.


49.Korst LM, Fridman M, Lu MC, Fleege L, Mitchell C, Gregory KD. Trending elective preterm deliveries using administrative data. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2013;27:44-53.


50.Blumberg SJ, Bramlett MD, Kogan MD, Schieve LA, Jones JR, Lu MC. Changes in prevalence of parent-reported autism spectrum disorder in school-aged U.S. children: 2007 to 2011-2012. Natl Health Stat Report. 2013;(65):1-11


51.Wakeel F, Witt WP, Wisk LE, Lu MC, Chao SM. Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Personal Capital During Pregnancy: Findings from the 2007 Los Angeles Mommy and Baby (LAMB) Study. Matern Child Health J. 2014;18:209-22.


52.Gregory KD, Korst LM, Lu MC, Fridman M. AHRQ patient safety indicators: time to include hemorrhage and infection during childbirth. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2013;39:114-22.


53.Guardino CM, Dunkel Schetter C, Bower JE, Lu MC, Smalley SL. Randomised controlled pilot trial of mindfulness training for stress reduction during pregnancy. Psychol Health. 2014;29:334-49.


54.Lu MC. Improving maternal and child health across the life course: Where Do We Go from Here? Matern Child Health J. 2014;18:339-43.


55.Halfon N, Larson K, Lu MC, Tullis E, Russ S. Lifecourse health development: Past, present, and future.  Matern Child Health J 2014;18:344-65.


56.Singh GK, Kenney MK, Ghandour RM, Kogan MD, Lu MC. Mental health outcomes in U.S. children and adolescents born prematurely or with low birthweight. Depress Res Treat. Depress Res Treat. 2013;570743:1-8.


57.Lu MC, Johnson K. Toward a national strategy on infant mortality. Am J Public Health 2014;104 Suppl 1:S13-6


58.Hirai AH, Sappenfield WM, Kogan MD, Barfield W, Goodman D, Ghandour RM, Lu MC. Contributors to excess infant mortality in the U.S. South. Am J Prev Med. 2014;46:219-27.


59.Korst LM, Fridman M, Lu MC, Mitchell C, Lawton E, Griffin F, Gregory KD. Monitoring childbirth morbidity using hospital discharge data: further development and application of a composite measure. Am J Obstet Gyncol. 2014;211:268.e1-268.e16


60.DiBari JN, Yu SM, Chao SM, Lu MC. Use of postpartum care: Predictors and barriers. J Pregnancy. 2014;2014:530769.


61.Coller KM, Chao SM, Lu MC, Strobino D. Unintended births among adult immigrant and U.S.-born Mexican women in the Los Angeles Mommy and Baby (LAMB) survey. Women’s Health Issues. 2014;24:e365-72.


62.Yeung LF, Coates RJ, Seeff L, Monroe JA, Lu MC, Boyle CA; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Conclusions and future directions for periodic reporting on the use of selected clinical preventive services to improve the health of infants, children, and adolescents--United States. MMWR Surveill Summ. 2014 Sep 12;63 Suppl 2:99-107.


63.Lu MC, Jones JR. A new way forward: improving maternal and child health in America. Matern Child Health J. 2014;18:1558-9.


64.Chao SM, Wakeel F, Herman D, Higgins C, Shi L, Chow J, Sun S, Lu MC. The 2007 Los Angeles Mommy and Baby study: a multilevel, population-based study of maternal and infant health in Los Angeles county. Adv Prev Med. 2014;2014:293648


65.Lu MCPutting the "M" Back in the Maternal and Child Health Bureau: Reducing Maternal Mortality and Morbidity. Matern Child Health J. 2015;19:1435-9


66.Kogan MD, Dykton C, Hirai AH, Strickland BB, Bethell CD, Naqvi I, Cano CE, Downing-Futrell SL, Lu MC. A new performance measurement system for maternal and child health in the United States. Matern Child Health J. 2015;19:945-57.


67.Zhao Y, Kershaw T, Ettinger AS, Higgins C, Lu MC, Chao SM. Association between life event stressors and low birth weight in African American and White populations: findings from the 2007 and 2010 Los Angeles Mommy and Baby (LAMB) Surveys. Matern Child Health J 2015; 19:2195-2205.


68.Lu MC, Lauver CB, Dykton C, Kogan MD, Lawler MH, Raskin-Ramos L, Watters K, Wilson LA. Transformation of the title V maternal and child health services block grant. Matern Child Health J. 2015;19:927-31.


69.Park HY, Harwood RL, Yu SM, Kavanagh L, Lu MC. Autism and other developmental disabilities research programs of the Maternal and Child Health Bureau. Pediatrics. 2016 Feb;137 Suppl 2:S61-6.


70.Liu J, Whitaker KM, Yu SM, Chao SM, Lu MC. Association of provider advice and pregnancy weight gain in a predominantly Hispanic population. Women’s Health Issues. 2016 Feb 24. pii: S1049-3867(16)00005-0.


71.Ghandour RM, Flaherty K, Hirai A, Lee V, Walker DK, Lu MC. Applying Collaborative Learning and Quality Improvement to Public Health: Lessons from the Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (CoIIN) to Reduce Infant Mortality. Matern Child Health J 2017;21:1318-1326.


72.Halfon N, Larson K, Son J, Lu MC, Bethell C. Income inequality and the differential effects of adverse childhood experiences in US children. Acad Pediatr 2017;17:S70-S78
Batra P, Hirai A, Selk S, Lee V, Lu MC. Appropriate use of progesterone to prevent preterm birth: Approaches to measurement for driving improvement. Matern Child Health J 2017;21:446-451

MD, University of California, San Francisco, 1992 - 1994
MPH, University of California, Berkeley, U.C Berkeley School of Public Health, 1989 - 1992
MS, University of California, Berkeley, 1989 - 1992
BA, Stanford University, 1984 - 1988
Residency: UC Irvine Medical Center 1994 - 1998
Certification: 2002 American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology