An estimated 84% of pregnancy-related deaths in 36 states between 2017 and 2019 were preventable, according to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report based on data from interdisciplinary committees that review deaths during and up to one year after pregnancy. 
 
Among deaths with information on timing, 22% occurred during pregnancy, 25% on or within seven days of delivery, and 53% seven days to one year after pregnancy. The leading underlying causes of pregnancy-related death were cardiac and coronary conditions among Black people, mental health conditions among Hispanic and white people, and hemorrhage among Asian people.
 
The first data released under a CDC-funded program to support these Maternal Mortality Review Committees, the report “paints a much clearer picture of pregnancy-related deaths in this country,” said Wanda Barfield, M.D., director of CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health at the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. “The majority of pregnancy-related deaths were preventable, highlighting the need for quality improvement initiatives in states, hospitals, and communities that ensure all people who are pregnant or postpartum get the right care at the right time.”

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