In order to understand better the risk factors and causes of pregnancy-related deaths in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention runs a national data tracking service it calls the Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System (PMSS).  The data shows that Black and minority women are disproportionately affected and die higher rates than other population groups.

PMSS is used to calculate the pregnancy-related mortality ratio, an estimate of the number of pregnancy-related deaths for every 100,000 live births.

Studies show that an increasing number of pregnant women in the United States have chronic health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and chronic heart disease. These conditions may put a woman at higher risk of complications during pregnancy or in the year postpartum. Causes of and risk factors for pregnancy related deaths between 1987 and 2016 have been published.

MyUzima has raised the issues women of color face.

In the editorial by Dr K, Finding Fozie Lee , along with the story of Fozie, a harsh reality is revealed : the need to create incentives for proper health care that will hold hospitals accountable for the care they provide for pregnant women, particularly ones that see a large volume of Black women.

The significant gap in the maternal mortality rate between Black and White women is examined as well in the panel discussion by Dr K at Black Moms and the maternal health crisis: What everyone should know. Black women are three to four times more likely to experience a pregnancy-related death than white women. It is of high importance to explain the issues so these women know how to change their risk profile.

 

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