More mothers are dying from causes related to obesity

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 06 December 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:1175
  1. Lisa Hitchen
  1. 1London

    Deaths from cardiac causes, often linked to obesity, are now the commonest type of death among women during pregnancy and childbirth, finds the latest three year report into why mothers die in pregnancy and childbirth in the United Kingdom.

    The report from the Confidential Enquiry into Maternal and Child Health, covering 2003-5, reports a shift from the last report, which found that suicide was the leading cause of overall mortality. The number of suicides fell from 58 in 2000-2 to 37 in 2003-5.

    Deaths from acquired ischaemic and other acquired cardiac disease accounted for 44 of all the 48 deaths from cardiac causes (91%), up from 35 out of 44 cardiac deaths (79%) in the last report, said Gwyneth Lewis, director of the inquiry. The number of deaths from congenital heart disease fell from nine (20% of all cardiac deaths) in 2000-2 to four (8%) in 2003-5.

    “Most cardiac …

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