Climate crisis and migration: Greta Thunberg supports International Organization for Migration (IOM) over ‘life and death’ issueRead more United Nations (UN) Convenes Lake Chad Countries, Amid Growing Regional CrisisRead more 11 Disruptive Startups Selected for Cohort 3 of the Africa Startup Initiative Program (ASIP) Accelerator Program powered by Startupbootcamp AfricaRead more Africa Data Centres breaks ground on new Sameer facility in NairobiRead more Coffee with a human face: A union that improves livelihoods for Ugandan farmersRead more Trends Predicted to drive the retail industry in 2023Read more Vantage Capital exits Pétro IvoireRead more Afrobarometer charts path for Round 10 surveysRead more Unified communication and collaboration trends for 2023 (By David Meintjes)Read more 2023 starts with BIG IMPACT on Bizcommunity!Read more

Most pregnancy-related deaths in US are avoidable: CDC

show caption
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 80 percent of pregnancy-related deaths in the United States could be avoided./AFP
Print Friendly and PDF

Sep 21, 2022 - 12:00 AM

WASHINGTON — Four out of five pregnancy-related deaths in the United States could be avoided, a new report by the nation’s top public health agency says, as mothers in the country face a comparatively high mortality rate, especially among Black women.

The study analyzed the cases of around 1,000 women who died between 2017 and 2019 due to pregnancy or related complications, up to a year after childbirth, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.

“The report paints a much clearer picture of pregnancy-related deaths in this country,” said Wanda Barfield, director of the CDC’s reproductive health division.

Some 22 percent of deaths occurred during pregnancy, 25 percent on the day of delivery or in the following week, and 53 percent up to a year later.

The leading cause identified, in 23 percent of cases, was mental health problems, including suicide or drug overdoses, followed by hemorrhage (14 percent), and heart problems (13 percent).

The deaths were analyzed by local-level expert committees, including gynecologists and mental health professionals, which were tasked with formulating recommendations.

These committees had “access to a diversity of information to fully understand the circumstances surrounding each death and determine whether there was a causal association with pregnancy,” the CDC’s David Goodman told AFP.

Pregnancy and its consequences can, for example, aggravate a mental illness, make access to psychiatric treatment difficult, or even cause pain leading to substance abuse or self-harm.

A death was considered avoidable if there was “at least a chance” that it could be avoided by “one or more reasonable changes” within the health care system, or on the part of the patient or her community.

Among the measures recommended to address the problem were furthering access to health insurance, improving pre- and post-natal care, as well as better transportation options to be able to access care.

The maternal death rate has been increasing in the United States for years, and ranks as one of the worst among industrialized nations.

In 2020, it stood at 23.8 deaths per 100,000 births, according to data published in February.

But underneath that figure lies stark inequalities: the death rate per 100,000 births was 55.3 among Black mothers, versus 19.1 for white women.

MAORANDCITIES.COM uses both Facebook and Disqus comment systems to make it easier for you to contribute. We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles and blog posts. All comments should be relevant to the topic. By posting, you agree to our Privacy Policy. We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, name-calling, foul language or other inappropriate behavior. Please keep your comments relevant and respectful. By leaving the ‘Post to Facebook’ box selected – when using Facebook comment system – your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below. If you encounter a comment that is abusive, click the “X” in the upper right corner of the Facebook comment box to report spam or abuse. You can also email us.