U.S. maternal mortality increased by over 33 pct during COVID-19 pandemic: study

LOS ANGELES, June 28 (Xinhua) -- Maternal mortality rates in the United States increased by 33.3 percent during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially among Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black women, said a new study released on Tuesday.

Prior to the pandemic, there were about 18.8 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births recorded in the country between 2018 and the first quarter of 2020. But maternal deaths rose to 25.1 per 100,000 live births between April 2020 and December 2020 during the pandemic, according to the study, published in JAMA Network Open, a medical journal published by the American Medical Association.

Researchers stated in the study, based on data from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, that the highest increases were seen in Hispanic and Black women. Hispanic women had 8.9 more deaths per 100,000 live births, a 74.2 percent increase, while non-Hispanic Black women had 16.8 more deaths per 100,000 live births, a 40.2 percent relative change.

Maternal deaths among non-Hispanic white women only increased by 17.2 percent, or 2.9 more deaths per 100,000 live births, according to the study.

Change in maternal deaths during the pandemic may involve conditions directly related to COVID-19 or conditions exacerbated by COVID-19 or other health care disruptions, but could not be discerned from the data, said researchers in the study.

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