News: U.S. maternal mortality at 22.3 per 100,000 live births, report shows

CDI Strategies - Volume 18, Issue 23

American women have the highest rate of maternal mortality compared with every other high-income nation, according to a new report cited in MedPage Today.

The new report—conducted by the Commonwealth Fund’s International Program in Health Policy and Practice Innovations—concluded that in 2022, the United States had 22.3 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. According to the report, the next-highest mortality rates were found in the countries of Chile (14.3) and New Zealand (13.6).

The Commonwealth study suggested that maternal mortality is especially affecting Black American mothers: “Black women in the U.S. had the highest number of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births at 49.5, compared to 19 among white women, 16.9 for Hispanic women, and 13.2 for Asian women,” MedPage Today reported.

According to MedPage Today, “two-thirds of pregnancy related death in the U.S. occurred in the postpartum period.” The report, in addressing the precipitating factors for the high rate of U.S. maternal mortality, argued that “an undersupply of maternity providers, especially midwives, and lack of access to comprehensive postpartum support, including maternity care coverage and mandated paid maternity leave, are contributing factors” to the maternal mortality crisis.

Veronica Gillispie-Bell, MD, an OB/GYN at Ochsner Medical in Kenner, Louisiana, told MedPage Today that the U.S. has not “designed our healthcare system for patients to be connected to care during what we know now is the most vulnerable time in terms of maternal mortality.” With respect to the especially high mortality rates among Black women, Gillispie-Bell suggested that the U.S. must improve racial disparities as far as access to maternal care is concerned.

Editor’s note: To read the MedPage Today coverage, click here. To read the Commonwealth Fund study, click here.

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