Pregnancy-Related Deaths Higher Among Black KY Women
Friday, April 16, 2021
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Racial gaps persist in pregnancy- and childbirth-related deaths across the state, and advocates say solutions to the problem lie beyond the doctor's office.
According to the latest state data, 50% of maternal deaths were pregnancy-related in 2017, and 46% involved a substance-use disorder. Nearly 80% of cases were deemed to be preventable.
Obstetrician & Gynecologist and President and CEO of Physicians for Reproductive Health Dr. Jamila Perritt said maternal mortality is a key indicator of a state's health and has a long-term impact on other community health factors.
"Black and indigenous women have an increased risk of dying during pregnancy and in the postpartum period, as compared to white women," said Perritt, "even when you control for things like education and economic status."
Death certificates show maternal deaths appear to be higher among Black women in the two largest urban areas in Kentucky, Lexington and Louisville.
Perritt noted the White House has issued the first presidential proclamation marking this week Black Maternal Health Week.
"The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services marked this week by announcing actions to expand access for maternal health more broadly," said Perritt, "to improve outcomes."
The nation's maternal mortality rate continues to be highest in the developed world. Perritt said a holistic approach involving community groups, food and housing advocates, and social scientists is needed to tackle the crisis.
"So when we look at solutions, the solutions really have to be focused on addressing those root causes," said Perritt. "And often that leads right back to how we shape our systems and structures so that there aren't disparities in access to care."
Black, American Indian and Alaska Native women are two to three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than are white women, and Black infants die at more than twice the rate of white infants, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
get more stories like this via email
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Climate activists are praising Gov. Gavin Newsom for signing a $15 billion climate action package Thursday, but argued he …
BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Some New Yorkers are voicing concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional, State Senate and …
LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan advocates for children and families are praising many of the investments in the 2022 state budget passed this week…
DES MOINES, Iowa -- There is strong public support in Iowa to enact a state law that criminalizes elder abuse, a topic also being discussed by law …
SALT LAKE CITY -- A researcher at the University of Utah said plans for generating renewable energy should include a power source right under our feet…
CHICAGO -- Advocates for immigrants and refugees in Illinois traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to push for a pathway to citizenship for up to …
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas produces more rice than any other state, and a new grant will help farmers explore ways to transition the industry to …
BISMARCK, N.D. -- North Dakota lawmakers in charge of redistricting have approved a preliminary draft of new legislative boundaries, but voters' …