U.S. government statistics show that nationwide African American mothers are more than four times as likely as White mothers to die during childbirth. A new study by researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham finds that race has nothing to do with the disparity. Their data showed that the disparity also had nothing to do with insurance status, income, body mass index, or marital status.
The researchers stated that factors such as gestational age, fetal survival rate, duration of hospital stay, cesarean delivery rate, and lack of prenatal care contributed to the higher incidence of maternal mortality among Black mothers. The authors also found that women who lived farther away from a hospital were at greater risk for mortality.
The study, “Why Do Pregnant Women Die? A Review of Maternal Deaths from 1990 to 2010 at the University of Alabama at Birmingham,” was published in the journal Anesthesia & Analgesia. It may be accessed here.