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CDC: 80 percent of pregnancy-related deaths are preventable

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a recent study concluding that more than 80 percent of pregnancy-related deaths that occurred in 36 U.S. states from 2017-2019 were preventable.

A review of pregnancy-related deaths in those states during the three-year time period found that a total of 839 deaths were preventable out of the 996 deaths where such determinations were made.

The CDC analyzed 1,018 pregnancy-related deaths overall, finding that mental health conditions, hemorrhage and cardiac and coronary conditions were the three leading causes of pregnancy-related death.

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Mental health conditions, including drug overdoses, accounted for 22.7 percent of deaths, hemorrhage for 13.7 percent and cardiac and coronary conditions for 12.8 percent.

The leading causes of pregnancy-related death differed between ethnicities. Cardiac and coronary deaths led among those identified as Black, mental health conditions led among those identified as Hispanic and White and hemorrhage led among those identified as Asian.

Black Americans were disproportionately affected. The group makes up 13.8 percent of the U.S. population but 31.4 percent of pregnancy-related deaths.

The data used in the analysis were acquired from the following states during part of one or more years from 2017-2019: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York (excluding New York City), Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

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