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U.S. Maternal Mortality Rate Unusually High and Rising

pregnant woman sitting in a field

In terms of maternal death rates, the U.S. finds itself in the company of several countries in North Africa and the Middle East, along with “Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Kazakhstan, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam”…

Part of a new study recently published as an article in the British medical journal, The Lancet, finds that the maternal mortality rate (MMR) in the United States has gone up by 64 percent since 1990 and is now higher than most “high-income” countries.

According to the “Maternal Mortality Collaborators” segment of this year’s Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD), there were 1,063 maternal deaths in the U.S., which means that 26.4 women in 100,000 (1 in 3,787) giving birth to babies in the U.S. die within one year, compared to 16.9 in 1990 and 17.5 in 2000.1 2

The annual GBD, which is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation1 and coordinated by the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME)2 in Seattle, WA, is described as the “most comprehensive worldwide observational epidemiological study to date.”3 Every year since 1990, the GBD has examined 249 health outcome measures affecting life expectancy and mortality in 195 countries—factors such as diseases and injuries—and evaluated trends in the health of populations.3

The study found that 49 countries had an MMR of less than 15, including “Saudi Arabia, all countries in central Europe, and all high-income locations with the exception of the [U.S.], Argentina, Brunei, Chile, and Uruguay.”1

In terms of maternal death rates, the U.S. finds itself in the company of several countries in North Africa and the Middle East, along with “Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Kazakhstan, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam” that all have an MMR ranging between 15-30. 1

The study notes that the U.S. has a “high MMR for a high-SDI (Socio-demographic Indexcountry.1 Perhaps more alarming, though, is the fact that the U.S. is also one of the few countries in the world in which more women are dying within a year of childbirth than died in the past.1

The discrepancy between the U.S.’s poor MMR status and its overall economic and social position in the world is explained by Christopher Murray, MD, director of IHME.

Dr. Murray states that, “Development drives, but does not determine health.” He adds, “We see countries that have improved far faster than can be explained by income, education, or fertility. And we also continue to see countries—including the United States—that are far less healthy than they should be given their resources.”4


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6 Responses to U.S. Maternal Mortality Rate Unusually High and Rising

  1. Gary Ogden Reply

    October 14, 2016 at 8:35 am

    Almost all of that increase has come in the past fifteen years. What else has occurred in that time period? The explosion of the vaccine schedule, the enormous increase in the use of glyphosate on an ever-expanding list of crops, along with other agricultural and industrial chemicals, and the increasing economic and nutritional impoverishment of our population. And record profits for the captains of industry and finance and their political enablers. Dr. Murray isn’t alarmed by this? Nothing in his statement seems to indicate concern.

  2. Janice Curtin Reply

    October 14, 2016 at 7:22 am

    i wonder it our high rate is due to the fact that women are so toxic from vaccines they have been given and from food containing toxins. Unless we work at it these toxins dont go away. They disrupt the functioning of our cells. Our detox systems become more ineffective and we dont absorb nutrients as well. Afterall, thats what health is all about: high nutrient dense farm food diet, low toxicity and good absorption.

    All future parents need to detoxify before trying to conceive and eat a high nutrient diet for a year.

    Half of children today have an autoimmune illness or neuro/developmental problem. The CDC says the children born today wont live as long a life as their parents. What will the death rate be when they have children, if they even can.

  3. CAWS Reply

    October 14, 2016 at 6:13 am

    So what do they think is at the root of this? Could it be the recent practice of forcing pregnant women to vaccinate for multiple diseases? Too many C sections? Poor access to general health care? Abuse of opiates? All of the above?

  4. Linda Abernethy Reply

    October 14, 2016 at 5:46 am

    What do you think is the cause? Probably not enough vaccinations. But perhaps “Obamacare” will fix this deficiency.

  5. dottie feder Reply

    October 14, 2016 at 1:09 am

    One factor must include undocumented/illegal immigrants crossing our borders for the purpose of delivering children who will be granted immediate citizenship. Legal immigrants receive health checks; however, undocumented immigrants bring many diseases not seen for years in the US. TB in MN, etc.

  6. MICHAEL CHRISTIAN Reply

    October 13, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    The point is clear about the maternal death rate increasing in the U.S., but the reasons for this unfortunate increase are not clear in this article, and Dr. Murray’s comments in the last paragraph do not explain it. I suspect it is partly because of the fact that, as the CDC reports, “The cesarean rate rose by 53% from 1996 to 2007, reaching 32%, the highest rate ever reported in the United States.”

    Source: Recent Trends in Cesarean Delivery in the United States. 11/06/2015.

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