C-Sections, Obesity Cited in Rise of Pregnancy Deaths

African-American women have four times the risk
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 26, 2011 4:24 PM CDT
African-American women have a greater risk of a pregnancy-related death.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A new report in California shows a troubling rise in deaths related to pregnancy, with Caesarean sections and obese mothers blamed in part for the spike. Maternal deaths rose from 8 per 100,000 live births in 1999 to 14 per 100,000 births in 2008, reports the Bay Citizen. African-American women had four times the risk.

In general, the state review found that too many women were entering pregnancy already overweight, and it identified cardiovascular disease as a chief factor in maternal deaths for the first time, notes Los Angeles Times. The report also singled out the rise in C-sections, and the complications they can bring, as a contributing factor to the overall increase.

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