Black, American Indian and Alaska Native women are two to three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women, and this disparity increases with age, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers reported today.
Among other findings, the study, which was based on analysis of national data on pregnancy-related mortality from 2007-2016, showed that:

  • the pregnancy-related mortality ratio increased from 15 to 17 pregnancy-related deaths per 100,000 births;         
  • black and non-Hispanic women experienced higher PRMRs (40.8 and 29.7, respectively) than all other racial/ethnic populations; and
  • for women over the age of 30, PRMR for black and American Indian/Alaska Native women was four to five times higher than it was for white women.

CDC is awarding more than $45 million over five years to support the work of Maternal Mortality Review Committees through the Enhancing Reviews and Surveillance to Eliminate Maternal Mortality program. The AHA-supported Preventing Maternal Deaths Act of 2018 provided funding for this initiative, which will distribute about $9 million a year to 24 recipients representing 25 states.
Maternal health is a high priority for the AHA. Through the Better Health for Mothers and Babies Initiative, the AHA is pursuing the goal of eliminating maternal mortality and reducing severe morbidity.

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