According to a CDC report, the maternal mortality rate in the United States increased in 2020 compared to 2019, with a significant spike in maternal mortality for Hispanic women and non-Hispanic Black women.
Specifically, the report from the CDC’s Division of Vital Statistics found 861 women died of maternal causes in 2020, compared with 754 in 2019. Additionally, the maternal mortality rate for 2020 was 23.8 deaths per 100,000 live births compared with a rate of 20.1 in 2019.
While the report stated that observed increases from 2019 to 2020 for non-Hispanic White women was not significant, the increases from 2019 to 2020 for non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic women were significant.
According to the CDC, in 2020, the maternal mortality rate for non-Hispanic Black women was 55.3 deaths per 100,000 live births, 2.9 times the rate for non-Hispanic White women (19.1). Additionally, rates for non-Hispanic Black women were significantly higher than rates for non-Hispanic White and Hispanic women, the report noted.
While rates for Hispanic women (18.2 deaths per 100,000 live births) were lower compared to non-Hispanic White women (19.1) in 2020, the maternal mortality rate for Hispanic women significantly increased compared to 2019 (18.2 vs 12.6).
The report noted that age-related differences in 2020 maternal mortality were also significant, with the rate for women over 40 years old 7.8 times higher than the rate for women under age 25:
- Under 25 years old: 13.8 deaths per 100,000 live births
- Age 25-39 years old: 22.8 deaths per 100,000 live births
- Aged 40 and over: 107.9 deaths per 100,000 live births
The agency noted the WHO classification of maternal death: “the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and the site of the pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management, but not from accidental or incidental causes.”
Hoyert DL. Maternal mortality rates in the United States, 2020. NCHS Health E-Stats. 2022. DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.15620/cdc:113967