U.S. maternal mortality surges during pandemic: BBC

By Xu Feng

LONDON, March 20 (Xinhua) -- The United States remains one of the most dangerous wealthy nations for a woman to give birth, BBC has said.

Maternal mortality rose by 40 percent at the height of the pandemic, it said on Friday, citing new data released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In 2021, 33 women died out of every 100,000 live births in the United States, up from 23.8 in 2020, it said.

That rate was more than double for black women, who were nearly three times more likely to die than white women, according to the CDC.

Compared to other countries, the maternal mortality rate was twice as high in the United States than in Britain, Germany and France, and three times higher than in Spain, Italy, Japan and several other countries, it said, citing the most recent global comparison data from the World Bank.

"COVID has made (maternal mortality) worse, but it was already a major issue in the U.S.," BBC cited Joan Costa-i-Font, a professor of health economics at the London School of Economics, as saying.

The high cost of healthcare, coupled with glaring disparities across racial and socio-economic backgrounds, has kept the mortality rate in the United States stubbornly high for years, said Costa-i-Font.

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