Causes of Pregnancy-Related Death Examined in the United States

Increases in pregnancy-related mortality ratios with maternal age, and racial-ethnic disparities persist
Increases in pregnancy-related mortality ratios with maternal age, and racial-ethnic disparities persist

TUESDAY, July 18, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- The pregnancy-related mortality ratio was 17 deaths per 100,000 live births from 2011 to 2013, and the distribution of causes of death categories remained stable from 2006 to 2010, according to a study published in the August issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Andreea A. Creanga, M.D., Ph.D., from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues conducted an observational study using population-based data to calculate pregnancy-related mortality ratios. Ten cause-of-death categories were explored by pregnancy outcome during 2011 to 2013.

The researchers found that the pregnancy-related mortality ratio was 17.0 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2011 to 2013. Increases were seen in pregnancy-related mortality ratios with maternal age; racial-ethnic disparities persisted, with a 3.4-times higher mortality ratio for non-Hispanic black versus non-Hispanic white women. The distribution of cause-of-death categories did not change considerably compared with the most recent report of Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System data for 2006 to 2010; however, compared with reports before 2006 to 2010, there were decrease in hemorrhage, hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, and anesthesia complications, while increases were seen in cardiovascular and other medical conditions.

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"The pregnancy-related mortality ratio and the distribution of the main causes of pregnancy-related mortality have been relatively stable in recent years," the authors write.

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