FRIDAY, Jan. 27, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Across all causes of death except suicide, mortality rates among recently pregnant women increased from 2019 to 2020, according to a research letter published online Jan. 27 in JAMA Network Open.
Jeffrey T. Howard, Ph.D., from the University of Texas at San Antonio, and colleagues examined all-cause and cause-specific mortality rates among pregnant and recently pregnant women from 2019 to 2020 and compared mortality rates by race and ethnicity. Data were included for 4,535 total deaths from 2019 to 2020.
For recently pregnant women, the researchers observed an increase in the all-cause mortality rate from 53.9 to 69.6 per 100,000 live births (mortality rate ratio [MRR], 1.29). Increases of 22 and 36 percent were seen in mortality rates for pregnancy-associated causes and nonpregnancy causes, respectively. Significant increases were seen in mortality rates for drug poisoning, motor vehicle collision, and homicide (MRRs, 1.42, 1.31, and 1.33, respectively). There was no increase in suicide mortality rates. Across all causes of death, American Indian or Alaska Native women had significantly higher mortality rates compared with non-Hispanic White women. Significantly higher mortality rates were seen for non-Hispanic Black women for all causes except drug poisoning and suicide. Lower mortality rates were seen for causes including all, all nonpregnancy, drug poisoning, motor vehicle collision, and suicide for Hispanic women.
"Mortality rates among recently pregnant women increased across all causes of death except suicide from 2019 to 2020," the authors write. "Pregnancy-associated causes were the leading cause of death, followed by drug poisoning."