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Why Are US Maternal Mortality Rates on the Rise?

Obstet Gynecol; ePub 2016 Aug 5; MacDorman, et al

From 2000 to 2014, the estimated maternal mortality rate for 48 states and Washington, DC, increased, despite the United Nations Millennium Development Goal for a 75% reduction in maternal mortality by 2015. The observational study also found that the international trend was in the opposite direction. Researchers also found:

  • The estimated maternal mortality rate (per 100,000 live births) for 48 states and Washington, DC, (excluding California and Texas) increased 26.6% from 18.8 in 2000 to 23.8 in 2014.
  • California showed a declining trend, whereas Texas had a sudden increase in 2001 to 2012.
  • Analysis of measurement change suggests the US rates in the early 2000s were higher than previously reported.

The authors concluded that there is a need to intensify efforts to prevent maternal deaths and improve maternity care for US women.

Citation:

MacDorman MF, Declercq E, Cabral H, Morton C. Recent increases in the US maternal mortality rate. [Published online ahead of print August 5, 2016]. Obstet Gynecol. doi:10.1097/AOG.0000000000001556.