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Black Women More Likely to Die from Certain Pregnancy Complications

A recent study by the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics shows that black women are three times more likely than white women to die of preeclampsia or eclampsia, conditions that cause high blood pressure during pregnancy. Twenty percent of the 4,000-plus women who died during pregnancy between 1972 and 1992 died as a result of these conditions. The three main risk factors were age, race, and level of prenatal care, which has the “biggest impact” on maternal mortality. The racial disparity appeared in prenatal care as well: white women who did not receive prenatal care were 12 times more likely to die from these conditions than white women who did receive prenatal care, but black women who did not receive prenatal care were 48 times more likely to die than black women who did.

Sources:

Reuters Health Ð April 2, 2001