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U.S. maternal mortality spikes during a pandemic




According to a new study published on Tuesday, the proportion of mothers dying during pregnancy increased by nearly one-third in the last nine months of 2020, the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, among minority groups. There was a more noticeable change in.

What you need to know

  • The proportion of mothers dying during pregnancy increased by nearly one-third in the last nine months of 2020, the first year of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • A new study published on Tuesday stratified the death dates of individuals before the pandemic – between January-March 2018, and January-March 2020 – and April-December 2020. Between them
  • The data showed a total of 1588 maternal mortality during the pre-designated pre-pandemic period, compared to 684 maternal mortality in the last three quarters of 2020. This is a relative increase of nearly 33%.
  • Maternal mortality in Hispanic individuals increased by 74% and 40% in black individuals compared to 17% in white individuals.

Research published in JAMA Network Online JournalWe compared maternal mortality data from the National Center for Health Statistics for two periods. Researchers have found that individuals died before the pandemic (2018, 2019, January-March 2020), and from April 2020 to 12 after the COVID-19 lockdown was implemented nationwide. The number of months of death in a month has been stratified.

Data show a total of 1588 maternal mortality (or 100,000) over the specified pre-pandemic period, compared to 684 maternal mortality (18.8 per 100,000 live births) in the last three quarters of 2020. 18.8 people per birth). An increase of almost 33%.

Researchers also noted a 41% increase in maternal mortality after March 2020 compared to before the pandemic.according to World Health OrganizationMaternal mortality is the death of an individual due to “direct or indirect obstetric causes of 42 days or more and less than 1 year after pregnancy abortion”.

Studies show that maternal mortality was higher in blacks and Hispanic Americans than in whites. Maternal mortality in Hispanic individuals increased by 74% and 40% in black individuals compared to 17% in white individuals.

“This increase was actually caused by deaths after the start of the pandemic, which is higher than the overall mortality rate in 2020,” said a senior researcher at the University of Maryland and an assistant professor of family science. Dr. Marie Tohma said. , Written in a statement.

Some researchers have written that the largest increase in the causes of maternal mortality is exacerbated or exacerbated by COVID-19 infection, and “directly related to COVID-19”. These complications include diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory problems.

There are no records that consider COVID to be the only cause of death, but some have identified COVID as a secondary cause of maternal mortality.

Researchers have found that the study has some limitations, including the fact that the majority of people infected with COVID-19 had “non-specific root causes” that represented maternal health coding problems. I noticed that.

“We need more detailed data on the specific causes of overall maternal mortality and those related to COVID-19,” said Dr. Tohma. “In some states, vaccine deployments and extended postnatal care provided to Medicaid recipients as part of the 2021 US Rescue Act may improve this in 2021. We will continue to investigate. “

The study, published on Tuesday, aims to provide more specific insights into maternal mortality after the March 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout 2020, there were per 100,000 births, or a total of 861 deaths, and the findings were not isolated based on the coronavirus pandemic.

The NCHS report did not include a reason for the trend, and at the time, researchers did not fully investigate how COVID-19 contributed to the increased risk of serious illness during pregnancy. ..

Coronavirus may have had an indirect effect. Eugene Decrek, a professor at Boston University and a maternity mortality researcher, postponed medical care for fear that many would catch the virus early in the pandemic, and the virus surge puts a strain on the medical system and is pregnancy-related. He said it could affect his death. Faculty of Public Health.

He called the high rate “terrible news” and said that the United States has continuously worsened maternal mortality than many other developed countries.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.




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