I know many people find America's maternal mortality statistics shocking -- particularly the fact that nearly two dozen countries have lower death rates attributable to pregnancy and birth than the US does -- but this report ratchets up the alarm.
Experts: U.S. Childbirth Deaths on Rise
By MIKE STOBBE
The Associated Press
Friday, August 24, 2007; 4:43 PM
ATLANTA -- U.S. women are dying from childbirth at the highest rate in decades, new government figures show. Though the risk of death is very small, experts believe increasing maternal obesity and a jump in Caesarean sections are partly to blame.
Some numbers crunchers note that a change in how such deaths are reported also may be a factor.
"Those of us who look at this a lot say it's probably a little bit of both," said Dr. Jeffrey King, an obstetrician who led a recent New York state review of maternal deaths.
The U.S. maternal mortality rate rose to 13 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2004, according to statistics released this week by the National Center for Health Statistics.
The rate was 12 per 100,000 live births in 2003 _ the first time the maternal death rate rose above 10 since 1977.
National Center for Health Statistics 2004 deaths report:
To read the full AP story go to:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/24/AR2007082401321.html
To read the government report, see page 12 at: