Pre-existing conditions like diabetes and asthma are killing more mothers and babies in America than ever before, staggering new data reveal.
Historically, maternal deaths in America have been caused by delivery complications including hemorrhages and infections.
But new research by the University of Michigan reveals that, for the first time ever, chronic underlying conditions are causing the most deaths and complications in US maternity wards – particularly in poor and rural areas.
Aside from a myriad of diseases, driven by obesity and sedentary lifestyles, one of the most concerning pre-existing conditions was substance abuse disorder as the nation’s opioid epidemic claims millions of women in their 20s, 30s and 40s.
While America has had the highest rate of maternal death in the developed world for years, experts warn this specific issue – rocketing rates of childbearing women with chronic conditions which has emerged in the past decade – is an ominous trend threatening to hamper any attempts at progress and reform in US maternal care.