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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 1999 Jun 18;48(23):492-6.

State-specific maternal mortality among black and white women--United States, 1987-1996.


One of the national health objectives for 2000 is to reduce the overall maternal mortality ratio ([MMR] i.e., number of maternal deaths per 100,000 live-born infants) to no more than 3.3 (objective 14.3); however, during 1982-1996, the MMR remained at approximately 7.5. In addition, the risk for maternal mortality consistently has been higher among black women than white women. This report presents state-specific MMRs for 1987-1996, focusing on persistent disparities in maternal mortality between black and white women. The findings indicate that in every state where MMRs could be reliably calculated, black women were more likely than white women to die from complications of pregnancy and that the 2000 objective will not be met; however, for white women, it has been met in three states.

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