Report: 2020 to 2021 saw increase in maternal mortality rates

2020 to 2021 saw increase in maternal mortality rates

From 2020 to 2021, there was an increase in the maternal mortality rate, which was seen across racial and ethnic groups and across ages, according to a report published in the March Health E-Stats, a publication of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics.

Donna L. Hoyert, Ph.D., from the Division of Vital Statistics at the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Maryland, used data from the National Vital Statistics System to present maternal mortality rates for 2021, updating rates for 2018 to 2020.

According to the report, in 2021, 1,205 women died of maternal causes in the United States compared with 861 and 754 in 2020 and 2019, respectively. The corresponding maternal mortality rate increased from 20.1 to 23.8 and 32.9 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2019, 2020, and 2021, respectively. The maternal mortality rate was 2.6-fold higher for non-Hispanic Black versus non-Hispanic White women in 2021 (69.9 versus 26.6 per 100,000 live births). Rates were significantly higher for Black versus White and Hispanic women. For all race and Hispanic origin groups, the increases from 2020 to 2021 were significant.

There was an increase in rates with maternal age, with rates of 20.4, 31.3, and 138.5 deaths per 100,000 live births for women younger than 25 years, aged 25 to 39 years, and aged 40 years and older, respectively. For women aged 40 years and older, the rate was 6.8 times higher than the rate for women aged younger than 25 years. For each of these age groups, the increases in rates between 2020 and 2021 were statistically significant.

More information:
Donna Hoyert, Maternal mortality rates in the United States, 2021, Health E-Stats (2023). DOI: 10.15620/cdc:124678

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