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Over 20 Percent of Maternal Mortality in Illinois Due to CVD

22.2 percent of women died of cardiovascular causes, with cardiomyopathy the most common etiology


TUESDAY, April 18, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- More than one in five maternal deaths in Illinois in 2002 to 2011 were attributable to cardiovascular disease, according to a study published in the May issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Joan Briller, M.D., from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and colleagues conducted a retrospective analysis of data from the Illinois Department of Public Health Maternal Mortality Review process to describe the demographic characteristics of women in Illinois who died from cardiovascular disease during pregnancy or up to one year postpartum.

The researchers identified 636 deaths from 2002 to 2011. Overall, 22.2 percent of women died of cardiovascular causes, for a cardiovascular mortality rate of 8.2 per 100,000 live births. Cardiovascular mortality was associated with being older and dying postpartum. The etiologies were most commonly related to acquired cardiovascular disease (97.1 percent) compared with congenital heart disease (2.9 percent). The most common etiology was cardiomyopathy, followed by stroke, hypertensive disorders, arrhythmias, and coronary disease (27.9, 22.9, 12.9, 10.7, and 9.3 percent, respectively). Nearly 75 percent of cardiac deaths, compared with 35.3 percent of noncardiac deaths, were related to pregnancy. Overall, 28.1 percent of cardiac deaths were potentially preventable, due to health care provider and patient factors.

"From 2002 to 2011, more than one-fifth of maternal deaths in Illinois were attributed to cardiovascular disease such as cardiomyopathy," the authors write. "More than one-fourth of these deaths were potentially preventable."

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