(U.S.) – Recently released numbers showing the rate in which women die during pregnancy, childbirth, or up to 42 days after are incredibly alarming to officials.
The study indicated that in 2018 there were 17.4 maternal deaths for every 100,000 births, which equals 658 women. This marks the United States as the worst statistically when compared to 10 other countries with similar levels of wealth and economic development. Statistics also indicate the U.S. is even on par with some third world countries.
Even more alarming, officials noted, are the disparities of those who die when giving birth. For example, black women reportedly die at double the rate of white women: 37.1 back women dying per 100,000 births compared to 14.7 white women dying per 100,000 births.
Officials also indicated the maternal mortality rate worsens as women age, meaning that women who give birth after 40 are 7.7 times more likely to die compared to those under 25. Women aged 25-39 died at a rate of 16.6 deaths per 100,000 births and women under 25 died the least often, at a rate of 10.6 deaths per 100,000 births.
Officials noted that the data is raising more questions than answers, mostly about the healthcare system, that they say appears to be failing modern women giving birth. For example, some reports estimate that 90 percent of hemorrhage-related deaths are preventable as are 60 percent of deaths due to high blood pressure.