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All-Cause Maternal Mortality in the US Before vs During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Educational Objective
To identify the key insights or developments described in this article
1 Credit CME

The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) reported an 18.4% increase in US maternal mortality (ie, death during pregnancy or within 42 days of pregnancy) between 2019 and 2020. The relative increase was 44.4% among Hispanic, 25.7% among non-Hispanic Black, and 6.1% among non-Hispanic White women.1 Given a 16.8% increase in overall US mortality in 2020, largely attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic,2 we examined the pandemic’s role in 2020 maternal death rates.

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CME Disclosure Statement: Unless noted, all individuals in control of content reported no relevant financial relationships. If applicable, all relevant financial relationships have been mitigated.

Article Information

Accepted for Publication: March 26, 2022.

Published: June 28, 2022. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.19133

Open Access: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the CC-BY License. © 2022 Thoma ME et al. JAMA Network Open.

Corresponding Author: Marie E. Thoma, PhD, Department of Family Science, School of Public Health, University of Maryland, 4200 Valley Dr, Family Science Ste 1142, College Park, MD 20742 (mthoma@umd.edu).

Author Contributions: Dr Thoma had full access to all of the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.

Concept and design: All authors.

Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: Thoma.

Drafting of the manuscript: Thoma.

Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: All authors.

Statistical analysis: Thoma.

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.

References
1.
Hoyert  DL . Maternal mortality rates in the United States, 2020. Health E-Stat. February 23, 2022. Accessed May 5, 2022. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hestat/maternal-mortality/2020/E-stat-Maternal-Mortality-Rates-2022.pdf
2.
Murphy  SL , Kochanek  KD , Xu  J , Arias  E .  Mortality in the United States, 2020.   NCHS Data Brief. 2021;(427):1-8.PubMedGoogle Scholar
3.
Hoyert  DL , Miniño  AM .  Maternal mortality in the United States: changes in coding, publication, and data release, 2018.   Natl Vital Stat Rep. 2020;69(2):1-18.PubMedGoogle Scholar
4.
Woolf  SH , Chapman  DA , Sabo  RT , Zimmerman  EB .  Excess deaths from COVID-19 and other causes in the US, March 1, 2020, to January 2, 2021.   JAMA. 2021;325(17):1786. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.5199 PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
5.
Pérez-López  FR , Savirón-Cornudella  R , Chedraui  P ,  et al.  Obstetric and perinatal outcomes of pregnancies with COVID 19: a systematic review and meta-analysis.   J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. Published online March 13, 2022. doi:10.1080/14767058.2022.2051008 PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
6.
MacDorman  MF , Thoma  M , Declercq  E .  Improving US maternal mortality reporting by analyzing literal text on death certificates, United States, 2016-2017.   PLoS One. 2020;15(10):e0240701. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0240701 PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
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