Why Are American Women More Likely To Die From Preventable Pregnancy Complications?

While pregnancy can be an incredible rite of passage in a person's life, it may also be rough on the mind and body and, therefore, may come with many potential risks. Pregnancy complications can include gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, miscarriage, infections, anemia (a decreased number of red blood cells within your body), and preeclampsia, which causes problems with your blood pressure and kidneys (via Healthline).

According to data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), many preventable pregnancy complications like preeclampsia, high blood pressure, postpartum hemorrhaging, and pulmonary embolisms have risen significantly over the years. While these pregnancy complications can vary in severity, they are serious conditions that can negatively affect the health and possibly the life of the mother and baby.

Recent research published by The Commonwealth Fund studied the link between pregnancy complications and mortality rates. What they found was that women in the United States were more likely to die from pregnancy complications that could have been avoided with proper care.

Reasons behind the high mortality rate of pregnant Americans

The study from The Commonwealth Fund reported that for every 100,000 women in the United States, 198 end up dying from preventable pregnancy complications. Researchers looked into the reasons why this may be happening and reported to CNN that "A high rate of cesarean sections, inadequate prenatal care, and elevated rates of chronic illnesses like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease may be factors contributing to the high U.S. maternal mortality rate. Many maternal deaths result from missed or delayed opportunities for treatment."

The report specifically highlighted the exorbitant costs and inadequacies within the healthcare industry in the United States, starting with the fact that the U.S. is the only wealthy country without universal healthcare. When compared to 10 other wealthy countries, the U.S. scored lowest when it came to participants' satisfaction with their healthcare. The U.S. also had the second-highest out-of-pocket healthcare costs out of all the countries surveyed, resulting in the highest rate of citizens who were most likely to have trouble paying medical bills and therefore skipping necessary medical treatment. Study authors emphasized the need for lawmakers to provide affordable healthcare, citing the positive effects that it has on the health of the population and benefitting the economy and society as a whole.