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Snapshot of Ohio Pregnancy Associated Deaths, 2008-2019*

Snapshot of Ohio Pregnancy Associated Deaths 2008 to 2019

From 2008 to 2017 there were 731 pregnancy-associated deaths in Ohio; 30 percent were pregnant at time of death, 20 percent were pregnant within 42 days of death, and 50 percent were pregnant within 43 to 365 days of death.

  • 31% were determined to be pregnancy-related.
  • 60% were determined to be pregnancy-associated but not pregnancy-related.
  • 59% of pregnancy-related deaths were deemed preventable. 

Pregnancy-associated mortality ratios increased in 2015. The increase was primarily driven by an increase in unintentional overdose deaths, which doubled annually from 2014 to 2016. The 2017 pregnancy-related mortality ratio increased compared to preceding years. Contributing to this increase was the implementation of new criteria, adapted from the Utah Department of Health Perinatal Mortality Review, to determine the pregnancy-relatedness of unintentional overdose and suicide deaths, which focuses more on the possible aggravation of mental health conditions during pregnancy and in the postpartum year. Only a sample of 2015 to 2016 deaths were fully reviewed, if all 2015 to 2016 deaths were fully reviewed it is possible that the corresponding pregnancy-related mortality ratios for those year could be higher, however it is unlikely because the new criteria to determine pregnancy-relatedness were not implemented until 2017. 

Definitions:

Pregnancy-associated death: The death of a woman while pregnant or within one year of the end of pregnancy, regardless of the cause.

Pregnancy-related death: A death during pregnancy or within one year of the end of pregnancy from a pregnancy complication, a chain of events initiated by pregnancy, or the aggravation of an unrelated condition by the physiologic effects of pregnancy.

Pregnancy-associated, but not pregnancy-related death: A death during pregnancy or within one year of the end of pregnancy from a cause that is not related to pregnancy.

Pregnancy-associated but unable to determine pregnancy-relatedness: A death during pregnancy or within one year of the end of pregnancy from a cause that could not be determined as pregnancy-related or not pregnancy-related.


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