Maternal Mortality in the U.S. Higher Among Black Women

maternal mortality rate

While pregnancy is a joyous time, it can also be a scary and dangerous time for Black women in particular. For years, research has shown that Black women are more prone to have complicated pregnancies, pre-mature pregnancies and even pregnancies that may result in death. The most recent research reiterates that theory.

The maternal mortality rate among non-Hispanic Black women was higher than for non-Hispanic White women in 2016 and 2017, according to a study published online Aug. 12 in the American Journal of Public Health.

Marian F. MacDorman, Ph.D., from the University of Maryland in College Park, and colleagues used 2016 to 2017 vital statistics mortality data with cause-of-death literals (words written on the death certificate) to assess racial and ethnic disparities in U.S. maternal mortality.

The researchers found that the maternal mortality rate for non-Hispanic Black women was 3.55 times higher than it was for non-Hispanic White women.

READ: The Dark Side of Pregnancy For Black Women

Eclampsia/preeclampsia and postpartum cardiomyopathy were the leading causes of death for non-Hispanic Black women, with rates five times higher than those seen for non-Hispanic White women.

Additionally, maternal mortality rates from obstetric embolism and obstetric hemorrhage were

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