There will be a rise in U.S. maternal deaths in 2020 increased 14 percent over 2019to reach 754 to 861 according to a report by NCHS. National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).
While the report did not investigate the cause of the increase Many experts believe COVID-19 and the interruption of medical care because of stay-at-home orders during the pandemic are at the very least partially to blame.
“Yes, the pandemic likely contributed to the increase from 2019 to 2020 and beyond that,” said Donna Hoyert, PhD, an expert in health science at NCHS’ Division of Vital Statistics and the report’s creator on the course of an appearance on ABC news..
“As the pandemic plays out, we want to see how it affects overall mortality rates and our trend of comparable data over time,” she added.
Another study has been released that have documented the continuing mortality of COVID-19 and the increased mortality due to it the study, Dr. Hoyert explained.
A study released in July 2021 utilized insurance information to analyze 489,471 hospital deliveries that occurred between March and September of 2020. It discovered that women suffering from COVID-19 had an increased risk of developing a variety of conditions such as deaths.
2 Out of 3 Maternal Deaths Are Preventable
Maternal deaths are defined by World Health Organization as “the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and the site of the pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management, but not from accidental or incidental causes.”
The United States, a maternal death can be defined as one related to the pregnancy or its management. Deaths resulting from accident or other causes aren’t included.
Two-thirds of deaths related to pregnancy within the United States could be prevented according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Maternal Death Rates Were Significantly Higher for Black and Hispanic Women
All generations and all racial categories experienced rises in maternal mortality between 2020, but the overall increase was mostly due to Black as well as Hispanic women.
- Black women have the highest mortality rate among the three ethnic or racial categories that are included in the report which was 55.3 deaths per 100,000 live births. This is an rise of 26 percent over the previous year.
- Women of color had 19.1 mortalities per 100,000 born, which is an rise of 7.7% to the year 2019.
- Hispanic women have a mortality rate for mothers that was 18.2 mortalities per 100,000 babies. While Hispanic women still have the lowest rate of mortality however, the number of pregnancies-related deaths in this category increased by 44 percent by 2020.
“This report is an accurate reflection of my experience, especially in regard to Black women,” states April Miller, MD MPH an associate professor of the Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, who wasn’t involved in the report’s findings. “As a Black woman and an ob-gyn, I am alarmed at the increase of the mortality rate and even more alarmed at the huge disparity between Black women and non-Hispanic white women, which is 2.9 times higher in Black women,” adds the doctor. Miller.
Pregnancy-Related Deaths Are Higher in Older Women
The highest rate of mortality in all age groups was recorded for women over 40. The rate was 107.9 for every 100,000 born. That’s roughly 7.8 times more than that of women under 25.
The risk of preterm births, gestational diabetes as well as the risk of high blood pressure rise for women who are pregnant after 35, as per Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic.
The U.S. Continues to Lag Behind Other Developed Countries in Preventing Maternal Deaths
Before the pandemic and the onset of the pandemic, the maternal mortality rate in the United States was worse than other developed nations. The 2020 report from the Commonwealth Fund found that the United States had the highest maternal mortality rate in comparison to 10 other countries with developed economies.
The authors discovered that the maternal mortality rate of 17 per 100 live births was recorded in the year 2018 which is more than double the rate in other countries with high incomes; in contrast New Zealand, Norway and the Netherlands all have Netherlands, Norway, and New Zealand all have 3 or less maternal deaths in live births.
“Although the U.S. is a first world country, many people live in third world conditions,” Miller claims. Miller. “For example, there are many food deserts — areas that have limited access to affordable and nutritious food — in the U.S.,” she says.
Poor Heart Health Is Likely a Factor in Maternal Death
“We have increased rates of obesity, diabetes mellitus, and chronic hypertension relative to these other countries, which can certainly have an impact on the greater incidence of maternal death,” said Shari Martin Lawson, MD, the director of the division for general obstetrics and gynecology as well as professor assistant of Gynecology as well as Obstetrics in Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore during an interview earlier with Everyday Health.
A study that was published in the month of April in Circulation found that approximately two out of five U.S. women who gave birth in the year 2019 had excellent heart health prior to birth, with weight and obesity as the main risk factors and which was followed by diabetes and high blood pressure.
A poor heart health condition puts both the mothers and children at riskof developing heart disease, leading to more than one of four deaths due to pregnancy (26.5 percentage) as per the American Heart Association Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics 2022 Update.
Health Officials Aim to Increase Preventive Funding and Awareness of Maternal Death in the U.S.
The efforts to reduce the amount of women who die from pregnancy-related or complications related to delivery are under way.
In 2021 it will be the year that the Biden administration announced Black Maternal Health Week that will be observed from every year from April 11 to 17. This year, the White House has pledged to decrease to the “unacceptably high maternal mortality and morbidity rates and to [tackle] health disparities that are rooted in systemic racism,” according to the statement.
This includes increased funds to educate healthcare workers on how to identify bias and protect the rights of patients in healthcare.
HEAR HER campaign “HEAR HER” campaign is focused on informing women on the need to be aware of urgent warning signs that can be seen during and after pregnancy . It also aims to enhance communication between women and their health doctors.
“Many people have limited health literacy, and they do not know what questions to ask their healthcare providers,” Miller says. Miller.
Signs and Symptoms to Watch for During Pregnancy and a Year After Delivery
Here are some warning signs for potential life-threatening situations as per the CDC.
- Headache that isn’t going and gets worse with time
- Affright or dizziness
- Vision changes
- An elevated temperature of 100.4 or more
- Extreme swelling of hands or the face
- Are you worried about hurting yourself or your child
- Trouble breathing
- Heart racing or chest pain
- Severe nausea and vomiting
- A severe stomach pain that won’t disappear
- The baby’s movements stop or slow during pregnancy.
- Vaginal bleeding, or fluid leakage during pregnancy
- Vaginal bleeding, or discharge following the birth of a baby
- Acute swelling, redness or discomfort in your arm or leg
- Tiredness that is overwhelming