Texas officials are struggling to understand why have the maternal mortality rates increased across the state. When analyzing maternal deaths in the U.S. between 2000 and 2014, the researchers at the Population Research Center in Maryland exposed a significant finding of Texas.
The maternal mortality rates almost doubled from 18.6 deaths per 100,000 live births, between 2009 and 2010, to nearly 36 deaths per 100,000 births between 2011 and 2012.
The researchers requested more studies to be done both in Texas and nationwide to find a precise cause for the unexpected uptick in deaths.
The Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force (MMMTF), announced in July 2016 that elevated blood pressure complications and cardiac events were first and third causes of death. The second leading reason of maternal death between 2011 and 2012 was related to drug overdose.
According to the research, black women have had the highest risk for maternal death accounting for almost 30 percent of pregnancy-related deaths in that year.
Moreover, the lack of progression in access to services, geographic, racial and ethnic health disparities as well as mental and behavioral health issues were among the reasons that led to these maternal death rates.
Based on the findings that once again revealed the well-known issue of collecting data, the MMMTF suggested programs for awareness of health disparities and developing health access.
To address this problem, the state Senate organized the multidisciplinary task force in 2013. Researchers, nurses, doctors and community advocates examined and reviewed cases in an effort to contribute with suggestions.
Between 2011 and 2012 more than 189 women died from pregnancy-related complications.
Dr. Daniel Grossman, Professor at Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at University of California San Francisco and Investigator at the Texas Policy Evaluation Project says that there are many studies needed to be done. It’s critical to analyze both nationwide opioid crisis and pregnant women’s access to healthcare through pregnancy which could have affected the progress in mortality rates.
The diminishing of funding for family planning assistance as well as for Planned Parenthood starting 2010 could have influenced the high maternal death rates.
Researchers consider that the United State’s inability to provide data regarding maternal mortality rates is an ‘international embarrassment’ and needs to be corrected.
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