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News Releases | Health & Senior Services

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Media Contact:
Lisa Cox
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
Lisa.Cox@health.mo.gov

JEFFERSON CITY, MO – The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) has published the Missouri Pregnancy-Associated Mortality Review: 2018 Annual Report on behalf of the state’s Pregnancy-Associated Mortality Review (PAMR) board. The report, which is the culmination of more than a year’s work of the PAMR, is based upon the most recent data available.

PAMR is a multidisciplinary board of experts from across the state tasked with examining the causes and contributing factors associated with maternal mortality and ultimately determining interventions that could prevent these deaths from occurring in the future.

The 2018 annual report contains data including the timing of maternal deaths and factors that contributed to these deaths, such as substance use disorder (SUD) and mental health conditions. The report also reflects the disparities that exist in our state and among our most vulnerable populations, including our Black and publicly insured communities.

Report highlights include:

  • Mental health conditions were the leading underlying cause of pregnancy-related deaths.
  • SUD contributed to 54% of pregnancy-related and 43% of pregnancy-associated but not directly related deaths.
  • Black women living in Missouri are four times more likely to die within one year of pregnancy than white women.
  • Black women living in Missouri also experience a higher rate of severe maternal morbidity (220 per 10,000 live births) than white women (89 per 10,000 live births).
  • Women on Medicaid in the state of Missouri are four times more likely to die within one year of pregnancy than those with private insurance.

The multidisciplinary board of experts from across the state found that the pregnancy-related mortality ratio (PRMR) in Missouri was 33 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2018 (up from 26 in 2017) and that 82 percent of these deaths were determined to be preventable.

The PAMR board continues to review cases and is nearly finished reviewing 2019 deaths and will begin reviewing 2020 deaths soon after. These reports will be made available once all cases have been reviewed. The 2018 annual report can be viewed at Health.Mo.Gov.     

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About the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services: The department seeks to be the leader in protecting health and keeping people safe. More information about DHSS can be found at http://health.mo.gov or find us on Facebook and Twitter @HealthyLivingMo

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