Why Is The Pregnancy-Related Death Rate In Texas The Highest In The US?


Texas has a problem that is suspiciously unique to the states as reported by the Associated Press, it has the most important one pregnancy-related death rate in not only the US, but the totality of the developed world with the exception of Mexico.

Citing a study by the University of Maryland looking at maternal mortality rates across all US states and provinces, it is being reported( accurately) that the nationwide rate has increased from 18.8 per 100,000 live births in the year 2000 to 23.8 in 2014, a near-2 7 percent increase. Californias rate has fallen from 21.5 to 15.1 in the last decade or so, but plenty on the part of states have realise the rate jump up notably in Texas.

The Lone Star State, between the year 2000 and 2010, read the rate gradually increase from 17.4 to 18.6. Dramatically, between 2010 and 2014, it jump-start to 35.6, a truly remarkable and distressing figure. Its being widely reported that the change was due to funding cuts to reproductive health clinics, but whats the truth behind the narrative?

Its no secret that GOP lawmakers generally have an agenda against reproductive care. Repeated and flagrant attempts to ban abortion clinics and defund Planned Parenthood, for example, induce the headlines at least once every few months. Its also true, of course, that this has a direct impact on the publics health.

Texas maternal mortality rates. MacDorman et al ./ Obstet Gynecol 2016

Back in 2011, as a Congressman, Vice President Mike Pence helped the House pass an amendment to defund Schemed Parenthood, which is a top provider of contraceptives. During his first year as Governor of Indiana, he shut Scott Countys merely Schemed Parenthood Clinic, which intended there was nowhere else for inhabitants to get sexual healthcare or tests.

Then, in 2015, there was a HIV outbreak. This was not a coincidence.

Its not surprising then that people have linked the defunding of reproductive health clinics in GOP-governed Texas to skyrocketing maternal mortality rates.

Curiously, during the recent doubling of death rates, legislators also failed to vote on measures that would directly dealing with this problem due to Republican infighting. Several key womens health clinics were also closed during this period of time.

However, its important to note that the University of Maryland study only observed trends in the death rates it did not give a definitive explain as to why the trends in Texas were changing so dramatically. It could be that there is a link with the funding cuts, but the researchers likewise suggest that this spike could also be due to a sampling mistake, one links between poor record-keeping in the state prior to 2011.

Either way, lets not ignore the overarching difficulty here: There has been a 27 percentage increased number of maternal mortality suits in simply 14 times in the richest country in the world. That, indubitably, is a depressing failing that runs contrary to plenty of other developed nations.

Lets take the US 2010 figure of 16.9 deaths per 100,000 live births. France( 10.0 ), the UK (8. 2) Germany( 7.0 ), Canada( 6.6 ), Sweden( 4.6) and Italy( 3.9) all threw the American healthcare system to shame in this regard.

Theres no doubt that there is a healthcare link here, and even though it is difficult to say what it may be, it may not even be that complex a number of problems to solve. One of the most common causes of fatality in this sense is postpartum hemorrhaging( PPH) excessive bleeding. Every 10 minutes, a woman giving birth dies of PPH.

Combined maternal and post-one-year maternal mortality rates in California. MacDorman et al/ Obstet Gynecol 2016

With the application of a $ 3-a-piece drug, a third of these fatalities could be prevented. It looks like the US needs it more than most that, and a healthcare bill that doesnt cut support programs for the poorest of the poor more than anyone else.

It might also be worth looking at what California’s healthcare system is doing that others states are not.

[ H/ T: AP]

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