JACKSON, Miss. — The latest Mississippi Maternal Mortality Report, released today, shines a glaring light on even greater disparities between white and black outcomes for new mothers.
The Mississippi Mortality Review Committee (MMRC) is statutorily tasked with investigating maternal deaths to identify opportunities for improvement and make recommendations for preventing future deaths.
For the 2017- 2019 reporting period key findings of the 93 deaths include:
- 43 percent of maternal deaths were directly related to pregnancy. 87.5 percent were determined to be preventable, and 57.5 percent occurred during pregnancy or within 60 days after delivery;
- Black, non-Hispanic women had a maternal mortality rate four times higher than White, non-Hispanic women; and
- Most maternal deaths among Black, non-Hispanic mothers were attributed to cardiovascular conditions and cardiomyopathy (a weakening of the heart muscle).
The report also includes recommendations to policy makers, including ensuring that insurance coverage exists before pregnancy, and extends beyond the 60 day postpartum period (now in place) to one year.
State Health Officer Dr. Dan Edney continues to advocate for access to care for all Mississippians.
"It is imperative that we take care of our most vulnerable populations now. This is the only way we can move Mississippi’s health status off the bottom of the chart. Access to healthy environments and healthy foods can and will reduce the prevalence of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure – all conditions that lead to cardiovascular disease," said Edney.
The report also includes recommendations for hospitals, providers and expectant mothers.
The Mississippi State Department of Health includes programs such as WIC, Family Planning and Reproductive Services, Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs, Early Intervention, Genetic Services, Healthy Moms/Healthy Babies, Safe Sleep, and Breast and Cervical Cancer, all to ensure the safety of both mothers and infants.
The report can be found at HealthyMS.com/maternal.
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