Hypertension, obesity contributing factors in maternal deaths | Department of Health

  • Tue Aug 22nd, 2017 10:05am
  • News

Department of Health issued its 2014-2015 Maternal Mortality Review Report on maternal deaths today, and obesity and hypertension were common factors in pregnancy-related maternal deaths.

The Maternal Mortality Review Panel (MMRP) found that a higher than normal body mass index was a contributing factor in 31 percent of the pregnancy-related deaths, and hypertensive disorders was nearly 20 percent.

There were 69 maternal deaths in Washington in 2014-2015.

  • 53 deaths were categorized as pregnancy-associated, which are maternal deaths that occur during pregnancy or within one year of the end of pregnancy, from a cause that is not related to pregnancy.
  • 16 deaths were categorized as pregnancy-related, which are maternal deaths that occur during pregnancy or within one year of the end of pregnancy from a pregnancy complication, a chain of events initiated by pregnancy, or the aggravation of an unrelated condition by the physiologic effects of pregnancy.

The pregnancy-related maternal mortality ratio in the state was nine deaths per year per 100,000 births for 2014-2015. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the national ratio was about 17 in 2013.

The MMRP recommendations:

  1. Improve care for women who are pregnant and have a high BMI.
  2. Promote and encourage the use of standardized protocols related to ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside of the uterus) treatment and intervention.
  3. Expand access to and continuity of health care coverage for all women and children.
  4. Improve access to substance use treatment and mental health services for pregnant and postpartum women.
  5. Expand and improve efforts to provide effective follow-up care for women during all points of pregnancy and through the first year postpartum.
  6. Improve health equity and address social determinants of health to reduce racial and ethnic, socioeconomic, and geographic disparities in maternal mortality.
  7. Improve maternal death investigation and autopsy.
  8. Coordinate efforts with other state and non-governmental agencies that share a focus on preventing maternal death and improving maternal health.

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