Homicide is leading cause of death for pregnant women in Louisiana

Homicide is one of the leading causes of maternal mortality in Louisiana, according to a study published in JAMA Pediatrics.

Researchers analyzed state data on 119 verified maternal death cases in Louisiana between January 2016 and December 2017.

Of the 119 cases, 13.4 percent involved homicides. The homicide mortality rate (12.9 deaths per 100,000 live births) surpassed the rate of all other obstetric causes of death, including hypertensive disorders and embolism.

In addition, the homicide risk was twice as high for women who were pregnant or recently gave birth compared to women who were not.

"Healthcare professionals' encounters with women and girls during pregnancy and the postpartum period — times when they are most likely to seek healthcare services — represent critical windows of opportunity for violence prevention services and interventions targeting them, their partners or their families," researchers concluded.

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