Maternal mortality rates rising in the USA

We released new estimates for maternal mortality rates last week. See post at

The big story is that faster progress is needed and most countries will not achieve the Millenium Development Goal for a 75% reduction between 1990 and 2015. Ten countries account for 60% of global maternal deaths. However, Reuters was more interested in the rising rate in the USA. This may relate to the increasing numbers of births to women at older ages, where there are also more chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.

According to Reuters, WHO death-rates expert Colin Mathers said improved data collection could also affect the figures. “There’s also a situation in the U.S. where there are a considerable proportion of the population without health insurance. That may also be affecting things,” he said. Will have to add “Death-rates expert” to my CV.

Another commentator was more certain about the cause of the rising maternal death rates in the USA: “How the right wing is killing women”

(these comments based on an independent analysis of the data from a US academic group)

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