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Most pregnancy related deaths in US are preventable, says CDC

BMJ 2019; 365 doi: (Published 10 May 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;365:l2169
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal

Three in every five deaths in the United States related to pregnancy are preventable, concludes a case by case review of deaths in 13 US states from 2013 to 2017, compiled by scientists from the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC).1

The researchers also analysed reported maternal deaths in all 50 states from 2011 to 2015 and found that the country’s mortality rate, the highest of any developed country, remains stubbornly high at 17.2 per 100 000 live births—about 700 deaths across the US each year.

That is twice the rate in the UK, which itself has twice the rate of other European countries such as Spain, Italy, Greece, Finland, Sweden, and Bulgaria. Since 1990, WHO data show, the world rate has halved, while the US rate has actually climbed.2

But the US rate is still only a 10th …

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