Maternal Morbidity and Mortality: Exploring Racial/Ethnic Differences Using New Data from Birth and Death Certificates

Sally C. Curtin, National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), CDC
Donna L. Hoyert, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Introduction: Rates of maternal morbidity have increased recently as more women enter pregnancy with underlying health issues. The effects of this increased morbidity on maternal mortality are unclear. In addition, there are persistent racial/ethnic disparities in maternal morbidity and mortality. Methods: Racial/ethnic differences will be explored using new data on maternal morbidity (maternal transfusion, ruptured uterus, unplanned hysterectomy, and ICU admission) from birth certificates. Racial/ethnic differences will also be examined using new data from death certificates on the timing of maternal mortality relative to the pregnancy. Rates of maternal morbidity and mortality for non-Hispanic white, black, Asian, and Hispanic women will be presented as well as multivariate models. Conclusions: These new data will be an important resource in tracking trends and differentials in maternal morbidity and mortality. Racial/ethnic differences are larger for maternal mortality than morbidity and were evident for all morbidities and in all time periods of maternal mortality.

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Presented in Poster Session 7: Health and Mortality of Women, Children and Families