Texas's Maternal Death Rate Not as High as Thought

From the WebMD Archives

A new study says previous research showing that Texas has an extremely high death rate from pregnancy complications was wrong, a new study says.

A 2016 study published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology said that the number of women in the state who died of pregnancy-related complications rose from 72 in 2010 to 148 in 2012. The national number in 2013 was 28, the Washington Post reported.

Some thought that the big uptick in numbers was due to the state's 2011 decision to slash funding to family-planning clinics.

But in the new study published in the same journal, the Texas Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force says the 2012 findings were based on sloppy and erroneous data collection.

The task force said more than half of the deaths in the state attributed to pregnancy-related complications in 2012 were recorded that way in error, the Post reported.

Texas's 2012 pregnancy-related death rate was corrected from 38.4 deaths per 100,000 live births to 14.6 per 100,000 live births.

Pregnancy-related death is defined as one that occurs while a woman is pregnant or within 42 days of giving birth, and does not include deaths from accidents or homicide.

To read more about maternal mortality, see WebMD's previous coverage:  Death By Birth: Bearing the Burden of Maternal Mortality

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