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US lags other rich nations in maternal health care

BMJ 2020; 371 doi: (Published 20 November 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;371:m4546
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. New York, USA

More women die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth in the US than in 10 other wealthy countries, according to a study by the Commonwealth Fund. In the US there were 17.4 maternal deaths per 100 000 live births, compared with 1.7 in New Zealand and 6.5 in the UK.

The rates in the other countries were 1.8 in Norway, 3 in the Netherlands, 3.2 in Germany, 4.3 in Sweden, 4.6 in Switzerland, 4.8 in Australia, 8.6 in Canada, and 8.7 in France.1

The rate for black non-Hispanic American women was 37.1, more than double the rate for white US women (14.7). The UK has an even worse record: maternal deaths were five times as high for black women …

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