In the past decade, women in the United States have been diagnosed with pregnancy-related mortality at a rate four times higher than that of men, according to a new study.
The number of women dying of pregnancy-associated mortality has risen by nearly 50% in the past five years, the study by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and Kaiser Family Foundation found.
“The burden of maternal mortality for women ages 15 to 44 has increased nearly sixfold over the past four decades, while for men it has declined by nearly half a percentage point,” said Dr. Jessica Stolper, a research professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and lead author of the study.
“Our findings also indicate that pregnancy-induced maternal mortality may be the highest of any chronic medical condition for which we have data.”
The study’s authors analyzed the medical records of 1,097 pregnant women who gave birth in the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Health Care System, which is part of Kaiser Pertussis.
All women aged 20 to 44 were included in the analysis.
Of those women, 628 died during pregnancy and 562 were diagnosed with preterm birth.
For women who died during the first trimester of pregnancy, more than 3,300 died.
By the time they reached age 39, those who died of pregnancy induced by C-section were two to three times more likely to be diagnosed with preeclampsia, a serious and potentially life-threatening complication of pregnancy.
The study was published in the July issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
More: The study also found that women with preechampsia are more likely than women without preechampias to die during labor.
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