number is more than just a postal code or geographic location.
For medicine, a
ZIP code can predict how likely someone will contract cancer or diabetes — or
even help calculate someone’s potential lifespan. (See “Code of Life,” May 2018
Texas Medicine, www.texmed.org/CodeOfLife.) It can also show where
pregnant women in Texas face the greatest health risks, according to a new
mapping tool developed by The University of Texas System and UT Health Science
Center at Tyler.
highlights some of the most important risk factors facing new moms: smoking
during pregnancy, pre-pregnancy obesity, and use of prenatal care. It’s based
on 2013-15 birth records and includes a variety of searchable online maps.
The maps are
useful for Texas physicians because of the state’s high rates of maternal
mortality and illness. In 2012, Texas’ maternal mortality rate was between 14.6
and 18.6 deaths per 100,000, compared with the national average of 15.9. White
women in Texas overall have a maternal death rate of 13.6 per 100,000 live
births; for African-American Texans, the rate is 27.8, according to research by
the Texas Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force.
percent of pregnancy-related deaths in 2012 could have been prevented with
proper intervention, the task force recently concluded.
“As Texas moves
forward with efforts to improve maternal health, it is important that we
understand how some of the key risk factors vary widely even within cities,” said
David Lakey, MD, vice chancellor for health affairs and chief medical officer
for UT System. “This [mapping tool] will allow us to target efforts where they’re
Check out the UT study at tma.tips/MaternalZIPmap.
Tex Med. 2018;114(10):40-41
October 2018 Texas Medicine Contents
Texas Medicine Main Page
Last Updated On
October 01, 2018