Most US States See Rise in Maternal Mortality Rates

Most US States See Rise in Maternal Mortality Rates

A new research published in the September issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology has shown most of the US states falling short of the United Nations Millennium Development Goal that aims at a 75% reduction in maternal mortality by 2015.

Conducted by researchers from the Maryland Population Research Center, University of Maryland, College Park, the report took into account the estimated maternal mortality rates in all the 48 states from 2000 to 2014. It was found that almost all the states showed a rise in the rates with California alone showing a 26.6% increase, up from 18.8 in 2000 to 23.8 in 2014.

The scientists cited improved ascertainment of maternal deaths as the main reason for the upsurge in the data from 2000 to 2014.

Another study published in the same issue hinted that pregnancy-associated deaths due to violence are three times more likely than deaths associated with the leading pregnancy-related causes of maternal mortality.

Marian F. MacDorman, PhD, from the Maryland Population Research Center, University of Maryland, College Park, and colleagues wrote: “Clearly at a time when the World Health Organization reports that 157 of 183 countries studied had decreases in maternal mortality between 2000 and 2013, the U.S. maternal mortality rate is moving in the wrong direction".

Nancy C. Chescheir, MD, professor and director of prenatal diagnosis at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, wrote in an associated editorial that these updated rates are significantly larger than those from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that were published in the January 2015 issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

The researchers computed mortality rates per 100,000 live births to model trends over time. They used maternal mortality data derived from publically available mortality data files from the National Center for Health Statistics and through the CDC.

Health