Monday, November 28, 2022

HEALTHIER YOU: We can protect the lives of pregnant women of color

May 16, 2022 by  
Filed under Health

BY DR. ANNETTE MAYES, OB/GYN

DR. ANNETTE MAYES

Approximately 700 women die in the United States each year as a result of pregnancy or its complications, and there are significant racial/ethnic disparities in pregnancy-related mortality.

From 2007-2016, Black and American Indian /Alaska Native women suffered significantly more pregnancy-related deaths per 100,000 births than did white, Hispanic, and Asian/Pacific Islander women. Disparities persisted over time and across age groups — and were present even in states with the lowest pregnancy-related mortality ratios and among groups with higher levels of education. The cause-specific proportion of pregnancy-related deaths varied by race/ethnicity.

Identifying factors that drive differences in pregnancy-related deaths and implementing prevention strategies to address them could reduce racial/ethnic disparities in pregnancy-related mortality. Strategies to address racial/ethnic disparities in pregnancy-related deaths — including improving women’s health and access to quality care in the preconception, pregnancy, and postpartum periods — can be implemented through coordination at the community, health facility, patient and family, and health care provider levels.

Chronic diseases associated with increased risk for pregnancy-related mortality (e.g. hypertension) are more prevalent and less well controlled in Black women. Ensuring access to quality care, including specialist providers, during preconception, pregnancy, and the postpartum period is crucial for all women to identify and manage chronic medical conditions.

Systemic factors: gaps in health care coverage and preventive care, lack of coordinated health care, and social services are contributors to pregnancy-related deaths. We can improve outcomes by addressing these factors and ensuring the pregnant women at high risk for complications receive care in facilities. In addition, innovative delivery of care models in the preconception, pregnancy, and postpartum periods might be further evaluated for their potential to reduce maternal disparities.

For more information, call Las Vegas All Women’s Care at (702) 522-9640. Or visit us at 700 Shadow Lane #165 in Las Vegas.

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