Really depressing chart of the day

This NPR/Pro Publica story is amazing and utterly heartbreaking.  Here’s the really disturbing chart:

Maternal Mortality Is Rising in the U.S. As It Declines Elsewhere

Deaths per 100,000 live births

Chart: The maternal mortality rate in the U.S. (26.4) far exceeds that of other developed countries.


Some context:

The ability to protect the health of mothers and babies in childbirth is a basic measure of a society’s development. Yet every year in the U.S., 700 to 900 women die from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes, and some 65,000 nearly die — by many measures, the worst record in the developed world.

American women are more than three times as likely as Canadian women to die in the maternal period (definedby the Centers for Disease Control as the start of pregnancy to one year after delivery or termination), six times as likely to die as Scandinavians. In every other wealthy country, and many less affluent ones, maternal mortality rates have been falling; in Great Britain, the journal Lancet recently noted, the rate has declined so dramatically that “a man is more likely to die while his partner is pregnant than she is.” But in the U.S., maternal deaths increased from 2000 to 2014. In a recent analysis by the CDC Foundation, nearly 60 percent of such deaths are preventable.

And some just devastating stories of maternal death if you can bear to read them.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

9 Responses to Really depressing chart of the day

  1. Mika says:

    Heartbreaking stuff.

  2. R. Jenrette says:

    And who is standing in the way of the public helping these women and their families? The “pro-life” party. So ironic.

  3. ohwilleke says:

    A caption would help the chart which doesn’t say what it is displaying.

  4. rgbact says:

    What, no massive drop after ACA took effect?. Thats weird. Clearly we’re just not spending enough money.

    • rgbact says:

      Quick Google search shows mortality rates are nearly 5 times higher for obese women. But I
      I’m sure thats not the problem.

      • Mika says:

        So do you think it would be wise to try to encourage children to adopt healthy lifestyles to reduce obesity when they grow up? Like Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! -campaign which might have had something to do in significant obesity rate drop among the youngest children? Do you think Trump’s efforts to make American food unhealthy again are wise?

        Do you know that maternity clinic visits are free for all in Finland? Do you know how much they have reduced maternal mortality in Finland? The answer is: a lot. You can read more about those from this guidebook (page 23) and while you read it you might as well think that would it be wise to adopt a similar system to USA if you really care about expecting mothers and their families.

      • rgbact says:

        Sure. It makes sense to get at roots of problems…..rather than spending billions on hoping the medical industry can medicate everything away. I was fine with the “lets move” program. Those are the exact kind of gubmint programs I favor… general public service type stuff. Not sure if it actually worked though. If 40 yr old obese women are determined to have kids despite the health risks…..its hard to stop them.

      • Mika says:

        Oh? Ok! Cool. For the last part, when there’s no way to stop them (and there shouldn’t be a way), you should concentrate on minimizing the risks – with a government program.

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