The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reviewed data about maternal deaths (2008-2017).  The leading causes of pregnancy-related deaths varied by race/ethnicity with cardiomyopathy as the leading cause of death for non-Hispanic Black women and mental health conditions as the leading cause of death for non-Hispanic White women.

The CDC’s Maternal Mortality Review Committees (MMRCs) are multi-disciplinary committees that convene at the state or local level to comprehensively review deaths of women during or within a year of pregnancy.  A total of 14 MMRC’s shared 2008-2017 data with the CDC.

Among 1,404 deaths to women during or within a year of pregnancy, 454 (32%) were determined to be pregnancy-related.  Of these, 233 (66%) were determined to be preventable.

  • 24% of deaths occurred during pregnancy
  • 34% of deaths occurred on the day of delivery or within a week after delivery
  • 19% of deaths occurred between 7-42 days postpartum
  • 24% of deaths occurred between 43-365 days postpartum

The following conditions combined to cause 75% of deaths:

  • Cardiovascular conditions
  • Hemorrhage
  • Infection
  • Embolism
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Mental health conditions
  • Preeclampsia and Eclampsia

Read the full report HERE.

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