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Giving Birth in U.S. Increasingly Deadly For Mothers

Pregnancy mortality rates in U.S. have risen steadily for decades.

file photo
file photo
What does the United States have in common with countries such as Afghanistan, Belize and El Salvador?

All have rising maternal mortality rates. In fact, the United States was one of only eight countries in the world to see an increase in pregnancy related deaths between 2003 and 2013, USA Today reported.

The maternal death rate in the United States far exceeds that of other developed countries, the newspaper reported. The story is based on research by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle.

The research found that 18.5 mothers died for every 100,000 births, the Washington Post reported, which is double the mortality rate in Canada and triple the rate in the United Kingdom.

In 1987, the mortality rate was 7.2 per 100,000 U.S. births. UPI reported that the mortality rate has been rising steadily – 12.4 in 1990, 17.6 in 2003 and reaching 18.5 last year.

The rate also spiked in 2009 because of the H1N1 influenza outbreak.

One of the study's authors, Nicholas Kassebaum told USA Today that the increase might have been caused by "poorer access to essential health care" in the U.S. during the time period compared to other developed countries.
Maryellen Brady May 04, 2014 at 11:24 AM
The mortality rate is high, because women in the USA were unable to access adequate pre natal care in the country. ERs do not/unable to treat a 9 month condition. And if you don't have insurance, the doctors and the hospitals want CASH up front. It is one of the urgent reasons for passage of the Affordable CARE ACT. Pregnancy is a health care issue and if not properly treated women and babies die!
helipi May 05, 2014 at 10:05 AM
Since we ARE making a political issue about this.... All I know is that 10 years ago, we were complaining about all the people who would use the emergency rooms as their own personal doctors office.... And how we shouldn't have to pay for it! Now we've finally got something attempting to minimize that, granted it will take a few years to know for sure, because old habits die hard. As for "over breeding" and unplanned pregnancy.. We all know that a trip to the doctors will go a long way to help that, far MORE than a trip to the emergency room after something goes wrong. None of us know for sure EITHER WAY whether this will work out for the bad or better, until years from now when we can see actual cost data. YOU MAY THINK YOU KNOW, BUT YOU DONT! What are our choices here? Doing something or doing nothing and bitching about it? Meanwhile the population continues to explode....
Lone Stranger May 06, 2014 at 09:50 AM
That all depends on who you are. If you are a minority its pretty easy. The government pay incentives to these people to have kids. Thats why its tough for good Americans to make ends meet. This story is just more blather.
Hopkin May 06, 2014 at 10:17 AM
Fred, the government is just playing Robin Hood with taxpayer money!
A Delargo May 08, 2014 at 08:44 PM
Can we see the demographics on this one ? We're not talking Buffy in Seattle. We're talking Maria in the back of an station wagon. The numbers will only get worse as the demographics shift. Ole !

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