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US Maternal Mortality Rate Highest Among Developed Nations

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the maternal mortality rate in the United States has been steadily climbing over the last decade. In 2019, the rate was 20.1 deaths per 100,000 live births, which was a significant increase from 16.9 in 2016.

Several studies have assessed why these rates have been increasing despite major technological and healthcare developments. Although there is no one definitive answer for the trend, there are many factors that can be pointed to.

Underlying Health Issues

Underlying or chronic health conditions can increase the risk of pregnancy-related death, and over time, these rates have also increased. The CDC reports that hypertension, diabetes, and chronic heart disease have been found in an increasing number of cases in recent years.

Researchers from the University of Michigan have also studied this trend and reported that about 10% of women who gave birth from 2013-2014 had a chronic condition, a 40% increase from 2005-2006. Substance abuse disorders also increased by 53% between these two time periods.

Prenatal and Postpartum Care

Many doctors stress the importance of prenatal and postpartum care to those who are pregnant, and often these are two major reasons why complications arise throughout pregnancy or during labor. When expectant mothers don't have access to the necessary care to treat conditions during pregnancy or in the year following, it can lead to exacerbated and often fatal issues.

Data from the CDC highlights that from 2013-2017, approximately one-third of pregnancy-related deaths were attributed to cardiovascular conditions. Other non-cardiovascular medical conditions were found in 14.3% of cases, while infections were found in 12.5%. It's also important to note that about 60% of pregnancy-related deaths were found to be preventable.

Racial Disparities

Many racial disparities exist among this data. In 2019, the maternal mortality rate for non-Hispanic Black individuals was 44, a severe jump from 37.3 the year prior. For non-Hispanic white individuals, the rate was only 17.9 in 2019 and 14.9 in 2018. On the other hand, Hispanic individuals had the lowest rate at 12.6 in 2019 and 11.8 in 2018.

Our Medical Malpractice Attorneys Are Here For You

We understand the importance of taking the time to grieve the loss of a loved one. While you're healing, we can help ensure that you receive the justice you deserve if a negligent medical professional contributed to their death. Schedule a free consultation with Angel Law, P.C. by calling (503) 862-8666 and let us provide the guidance and support you need.