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Pregnancy

Over 80% of pregnancy-related deaths between 2017-19 were preventable: CDC

More than 84% of pregnancy-related deaths between 2017 and 2019 in the United States were "preventable," while only 15% were nonpreventable, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Maternal Mortality Review Committees, which review deaths that occurred during or within a year of pregnancy, determined that the most frequent underlying causes of pregnancy-related deaths were mental health conditions, hemorrhage, and cardiac and coronary conditions.

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The leading cause of pregnancy-related death varied by race and ethnicity, with mental health conditions being the leading underlying cause of death among Hispanic and non-Hispanic white women. For non-Hispanic black women, cardiac and coronary conditions were the top underlying cause of death.

Other top underlying causes identified were infection, thrombotic embolism, and cardiomyopathy.

The report, which was based on 1,018 pregnancy-related deaths among people residing in 36 states between 2017-19, found that most pregnancy-related deaths occurred non-Hispanic white women (46.6%) followed by non-Hispanic black women (31.4%).

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Roughly 53% of the deaths occurred between seven days and one year after giving birth. Over 80% of the people who died lived in urban counties, while 18% resided in rural ones.

A death was considered preventable by the committees if it determined there was "at least some chance of the death being averted by one or more reasonable changes to patient, community, provider, facility, and/or systems factors."