HealthCare

Pregnancy-related deaths for U.S. mothers rose in pandemic’s first year, report shows

Pregnancy-related deaths for U.S. mothers climbed higher in the pandemic’s first year, continuing a decades-long trend that disproportionately affects Black people, according to a government report released Wednesday.

Overall in 2020, there were almost 24 deaths per 100,000 births, or 861 deaths total — numbers that reflect mothers dying during pregnancy, childbirth or the year after. The rate was 20 per 100,000 in 2019.

Among Black people, there were 55 maternal deaths per 100,000 births — almost triple the rate for whites.

The report from the National Center for Health Statistics does not include reasons for the trend and researchers said they have not fully examined how Covid-19, which increases risks for severe illness in pregnancy, might have contributed.

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