Obstet Gynecol 2021 Apr 8. Epub 2021 Apr 8.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and the School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, and the Children's and Women's Hospital of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; CHU de Québec-Université Laval Research Center, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada; the Division of Clinical Epidemiology, Department of Medicine Solna, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; the Perinatal Epidemiology Research Unit, Departments of Pediatrics and Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Dalhousie University and the IWK Health Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada; the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; the Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, New Jersey; and the Epidemiology Branch, Division of Intramural Population Health Research, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda, Maryland.
Rigorous studies carried out by the National Center for Health Statistics show that previously reported increases in maternal mortality rates in the United States were an artifact of changes in surveillance. The pregnancy checkbox, introduced in the revised 2003 death certificate and implemented by the states in a staggered manner, resulted in increased identification of maternal deaths and in reported maternal mortality rates. This Commentary summarizes the findings of the National Center for Health Statistics reports, describes temporal trends and the current status of maternal mortality in the United States, and discusses future concerns. Read More