The number of women who are dying during pregnancy, or soon after giving birth, has risen nationwide, and a new report shows an alarming 87% spike in deaths in Texas. As of 2015, the maternal mortality rate in Texas is 32.5 per 100,000 live births, and the increase accounts for around 50 to 60 additional deaths per year in Texas.
“We think there is a very significant problem in Texas,” says Marian MacDorman, a research professor at the Maryland Population Research Center at the University of Maryland, College Park, and the lead author of the new study, published in the journalBirth.
MacDorman and her colleagues published a 2016 study showing a more than 20% increase in maternal mortality rates across the U.S. Since maternal mortality rates are declining worldwide, the increase in the U.S. is cause for alarm. But the researchers also noticed a “strange pattern” in Texas, where there was an especially notable spike in cases: an 87% increase in maternal deaths in the state, when comparing data from 2006-2010 to 2011-2015.