- Rising maternal mortality rates appear to be related to increased severe maternal morbidity during pregnancy and after delivery.
Why this matters
- Rising maternal mortality rates have occurred in conjunction with the increasing prevalence of severe maternal morbidity.
- Many cases of maternal death due to severe maternal morbidity may be preventable.
- Maternal death rate was 9.3 per 100,000 births.
- Severe maternal morbidity that arose during pregnancy or after delivery was far more likely in women who died (68.0% vs 1.7%).
- The higher the number of severe maternal morbidity indicators, the higher the risk of maternal death:
- 1 indicator, adjusted relative risk (aRR), 20.1 (95% CI, 11.6-34.7).
- 2 indicators, aRR, 101.6 (95% CI, 58.2-177.6).
- ≥6 indicators, aRR, 2192.0 (95% CI, 1287.0-3735.0).
- Population-based cohort study in Canada.
- Cohort identified using hospital obstetric delivery records (n=1,953,943 births).
- Main outcome was the number of severe maternal morbidity indicators identified during a pregnancy using ICD codes.
- Funding: Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences.
- The study did not include pregnancy ending prior to 20 weeks' gestation.