0507 GMT October 21, 2019
And in Texas, where clinics serving women have shuttered and their health interests have been battled all the way up to the US Supreme Court, the rate of pregnancy-related deaths more than doubled over the course of two years, zeenews.india.com wrote.
These are some of the findings in a new study (PDF) in the September issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
The authors set out to analyze maternal mortality trends in part because the United States government has not published official data on this subject since 2007, they said, calling that fact an ‘international embarrassment’.
One of the eight United Nations Millennium Development Goals sought a 75-percent reduction in pregnancy-related deaths from 1990 to 2015. Just as the world turned its attention to this matter with marked success, the United States stopped offering data and began moving backward.
Funding challenges and a tangled mess of inconsistent measurements may have been to blame for the lack of information, the authors said.
The United States performs worse than any other developed nation when it comes to maternal death, according to State of the World's Mothers 2015, the most recent comprehensive report compiled by Save the Children, a 90-year old global organization advocating for kids' needs.
In the United States, a woman faces a one in 1,800 chance of dying from a pregnancy-related cause during her reproductive years, that report says. She's 10 times more likely to die this way than a woman living in Poland, Austria or Belarus.
Pregnancy-related deaths are still rare in the United States, certainly in comparison with less-developed nations. But the estimated rate of maternal mortality in 48 states and Washington grew by about 27 percent between 2000 and 2014, said the authors of the newer study.
The two most populous states, California and Texas, had enough data to allow for more analysis. Research showed that California succeeded in decreasing numbers, the researchers said, but Texas death rates climbed like no other state in the nation.
From 2006 through 2010, numbers from the National Center for Health Statistics show that the rate of maternal deaths in Texas wavered little. There were as few as 69 deaths in 2009 and as many as 82 in 2008.
But from 2010 to 2012, those numbers shot up from 72 deaths to 148. In 2013, deaths fell slightly to 140, and there were 135 in 2014, the last year analyzed by the study's researchers.
Of 183 countries and territories studied from 1990 to 2013, only 17 saw maternal mortality rate percentage increases, the World Health Organization report ‘ Trends in Maternal Mortality: 1990 to 2013’ showed. In the United States, the maternal mortality rate grew by 136 percent over those 23 years, more than any other country studied.