Maternal Deaths Spiked In 2021—Particularly Among Black Women [Barriers: Inequity, Health Care Access]

Another article about the CDC National Center for Health Statistics’ recent study on maternal mortality, entitled Maternal Mortality Rates in the United States, 2021, was posted on March 16, 2023 in Forbes. This article is entitled Maternal Deaths Spiked In 2021—Particularly Among Black Women—As U.S. Maintains Deadly Reputation For Pregnancy And Childbirth, and further highlights the public health issues related to pregnancy and childbirth in the US. It discusses the following statistics:

“…the overall mortality rate for 2021 was 32.9 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, the report said, up from 23.8 in 2020 and 20.1 in 2019.”

“Black women, who had a mortality rate of 69.9 deaths per 100,000 live births, disproportionately shouldered this burden, dying at 2.6 times the rate of white women.”

“Maternal mortality has steadily risen in the U.S. for decades, bucking a longstanding downturn that has been—and largely continues to be—observed in most other wealthy countries since the advent of better surgical techniques, discovery of antibiotics, rising living standards and general improvements to medicine. Many of these deaths are preventable. “

While the study did not detail the cause of the rise during the pandemic, it did state that “A Covid infection also increases the odds of giving birth prematurely, which is also riskier. Given the disproportionate impact Covid had on communities of color in the U.S.—coronavirus death rates were especially high among Black women—this could help explain some of the disparities in maternal deaths.”

Published by Sarah Buckius

Artist & Educator living in Santa Cruz, CA.

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