The Journal Abstract: December 2012

Enhanced Surveillance of Maternal Mortality in Texas  

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Abstract of Journal Article – December 2012 

Tex Med. 2012;108(12):57.

 By Larissa J. Estes, DrPH; Linda E. Lloyd, PhD; and Beatrice J. Selwyn, ScD 

Maternal mortality is often used to measure health and well-being for women. Improved surveillance efforts can improve maternal mortality estimates and inform the development of strategies to address the needs of maternal and child health populations. The purpose of this study was to provide better estimates of maternal mortality in Texas by using enhanced surveillance methods. Results from our analyses of fetal death and live birth records in Texas from 2000 through 2006 were then linked to pregnancy-related death records and death records of women of childbearing age (15-44 years) in Texas from 2001 through 2006. Enhanced surveillance identified almost 3.5 times as many deaths that might be associated with pregnancy than do current methods and confirmed a persistent race/ethnicity trend in maternal mortality. The leading cause of these 2001-2006 pregnancy-associated deaths was accidents. Enhanced surveillance allows the identification of additional deaths possibly associated with pregnancy and provides a stable foundation to investigate trends further and to review maternal mortality cases systematically.  


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