US maternal death rate climbed in 2019 with enduring racial disparities: federal data

The U.S. recorded a climb in its maternal death rate from 2018 to 2019, and racial disparities in the data remained, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report published Thursday.

The National Center for Health Statistics documented 754 maternal deaths in the country in 2019, reaching 20.1 deaths per 100,000 live births. This represents an increase from the 2018 levels of 17.4 fatalities per 100,000 live births.

When broken down by race, non-Hispanic Black women had 44 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2019, amounting to 2.5 times more than non-Hispanic white women and 3.5 times more than Hispanic women.

As the age of the mother increased, the maternal mortality rate rose, with those aged 40 and more having six times the rate compared with women under 25.