Death rate from pregnancy complications triples in California

Trend could be nation-wide

The mortality rate of Californian women who die from causes directly related to pregnancy has nearly tripled in the past decade, reports California Watch. The investigative reporting website interviewed the authors of a not-yet-public Department of Public Health study identifying the most significant spike in pregnancy-related deaths since the 1930s. Although the total number of deaths remains relatively small, the report affirms that it’s now more dangerous to give birth in California than it is in Kuwait or Bosnia. Possible reasons behind the spike include an uptick in morbid obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes, along with hemorrhaging from the growing numbers of C-sections. And the trend could be nationwide. An alert issued last week to hospitals by the Joint Commission, the leading health care accreditation and standards group in the country, warned: “Unfortunately, current trends and evidence suggest that maternal mortality rates may be increasing in the U.S.”

California Watch