pregnancy and childbirth are said to mark new beginnings and new life – but more and more pregnant or recently pregnant women are dying prematurely.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday released a new report on maternal death rates for 2021 – showing an upward trend in women dying from maternal causes in the United States
In 2021, the report said 1,205 women died from maternal causes — an increase of more than 33% from 2020 and up 46% from 2019.
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For every 100,000 live births in 2021, there were 32.9 maternal deaths, compared with 23.8 in 2020 and 20.1 in 2019, the report said.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines maternal mortality as “the death of a woman during pregnancy or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, regardless of the duration and location of pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by pregnancy , or its administration, but not from accidental or accidental causes.”
Maternal mortality rates varied by race and age
According to the report, all racial groups saw significant increases in maternal mortality between 2020 and 2021.
However, black women had the largest proportion – 69.9 per 100,000 births. That’s more than 2½ times the rate for white women.
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Mortality rates also increased with age. In 2021, there were 20.4 deaths per 100,000 live births among women under the age of 25.
That rose to 31.3 deaths in women aged 25 to 39 and 138.5 in women aged 40 and over.
This means that maternal mortality between the youngest and oldest age groups has increased by almost 150%.
Amy Ahnert, MD, co-director of the Cardio Obstetrics program Lehigh Valley Health Network in Pennsylvaniawas not involved in the research but reviewed the study results.
“Unfortunately, this is not ‘new’ news,” she told Fox News Digital in an email.
“The United States is one of the few countries in the world with increasing maternal mortality.”
dr Ahnert said she believes one reason is that women are postponing childbirth to later years – and therefore may have more chronic health problems.
“There is also an increase obesity and unhealthy lifestyleand an increase in high blood pressure and other risk factors,” she said.
Black women experienced maternal mortality rates 2½ times higher than white women.
heart disease is the leading cause of maternal deaths in the United States, according to the Mayo Clinic.
dr Ahnert cited a 2020 study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association that found less than one in 10 pregnant women had good cardiovascular health.
“We need to make changes to improve cardiovascular health in pre-pregnancy women to reduce maternal mortality in our country,” she said.
To achieve this, Dr. Foreshadows the need to improve the training of community and healthcare providers in all disciplines well before pregnancy.
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“We need to address access to healthy eating, access to health care, and barriers to heart health,” said Dr. Ahnert.
The doctor identified a need for programs to care for women at risk before, during and after pregnancy.
“This needs to include a greater focus on research and understanding barriers to better health among high-risk women.”
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Finally, the doctor identified a need for programs to care for women at risk before, during and after pregnancy.
“This may include close monitoring of symptoms, blood pressure and other important clinical clues pointing to a higher risk,” she said.
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The data for this report comes from the National Vital Statistics System Mortality File, which contains records of all registered deaths in the United States from 1900 to the present.
The report does not include all deaths of pregnant women, only those related to maternity.
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