CDC analysis shows more than 80% of U.S. maternal deaths are preventable


  • Of the 1,018 deaths, 839 occurred up to a year after giving birth, with mental health issues being the main underlying cause, according to the analysis.
  • Black mothers, who are three times more likely than white mothers to die, accounted for almost a third of deaths from 2017 to 2019.
  • More than 90% of the deaths of Aboriginal mothers could have been prevented, most of them due to mental health problems and hemorrhages.

A staggering number of maternal deaths in the United States have been shown to be preventable, according to a federal analysis of maternal death data released Monday.

More than 80%, or about 4 in 5 maternal deaths over a two-year period, were due to preventable causes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.

The analysis of pregnancy-related deaths from 2017 to 2019, which occur disproportionately among women of color, including black and Indigenous people, is based on figures from maternal mortality review boards. These are multidisciplinary groups based in 36 states that investigate the circumstances surrounding maternal deaths.

Of the 1,018 deaths, 839 occurred up to a year after giving birth, with mental health issues – death by suicide or overdose – being the main underlying cause, followed by extreme bleeding or hemorrhage, according to the report. About 22% of deaths occurred during pregnancy, and a quarter on the day of delivery or within a week of delivery.




USA Today

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