60% of pregnancy-related deaths are preventable: 5 CDC findings

About 700 women die every year in the U.S. from pregnancy-related complications, and many of these deaths are preventable, according to the CDC's most recent Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published May 7.

For the report, CDC researchers reviewed 2011-15 data on national pregnancy rates, along with 2013-17 data collected by maternal mortality review committees in 13 states.

Five report findings:

1. Between 2011 and 2015, the CDC confirmed 3,410 pregnancy-related deaths in the U.S. The overall pregnancy-related mortality ratio was 17.2 deaths per 100,000 live births.

2. The timeline of deaths varied, with 31.3 percent of deaths occurring during pregnancy and 16.9 percent happening on the day of delivery. Another 18.6 percent of deaths happened one to six days postpartum, 21.4 percent occurred seven to 42 days postpartum, and 11.7 percent occurred 43 to 365 days postpartum.

3. The leading causes of pregnancy-related deaths were heart disease and stroke every year between 2011 and 2017.

4. Black women were 3.3 times more likely to die of a pregnancy-related complication than white women. American Indian or Alaska Native women were 2.5 times more likely to die of such a complication.

5. CDC researchers determined about 60 percent of pregnancy-related deaths were preventable.

To view the full report, click here.

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