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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2001 May 11;50(18):361-4.

Pregnancy-related deaths among Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native women--United States, 1991-1997.


In the United States in 1997, the Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/ Alaska Native population represented 16% of all reproductive-age women (aged 15-49 years) but accounted for 23.5% of all live births (1,2). Although statistics by race/ethnicity are available for maternal deaths (3), pregnancy-related mortality ratios (PRMRs) have been reported regularly only for black and white women. Pregnancy-related deaths in Hispanic women have been studied (4); however, combining pregnancy-related mortality risk among Asians/Pacific Islanders and American Indians/Alaska Natives into an "other" category masks differences in their health status. This report presents PRMRs among Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native women in the United States during 1991-1997. The findings indicate that these groups have higher PRMRs than non-Hispanic white (white) women and lower ratios than non-Hispanic black (black) women and underscore the need for targeted interventions that address the maternal health needs of racial/ethnic minority women.

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