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Report: Maternal mortality rates nearly doubled for white, Hispanic Hoosiers in 20-year study

 A pregnant person's baby bump
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Indiana had one of the highest maternal mortality rate increases in the nation between 1999 to 2019, according to a new study.

Indiana had one of the highest maternal mortality rate increases in the nation between 1999 to 2019, according to a new study.

Indiana had one of the highest maternal mortality rate increases in the nation between 1999 to 2019, according to a new study.

The University of Washington study contains data from pregnant people between 1999 and 2019 who died while pregnant or up to a year afterward. The study did not evaluate potential causes of death, but common causes of maternal mortality often include things such as hemorrhaging and heart conditions.

The study also showed maternal mortality rates have more than doubled in some of Indiana’s demographic groups. Rates for white Hoosiers increased by more than 150 percent during this time period. The maternal mortality rates for Hispanic Hoosiers increased by more than 105 percent.

The data did not show the same level of increases in maternal mortality for Black Hoosiers. However, Black Hoosiers are twice as likely to die from pregnancy-associated death than white Hoosiers.

READ MORE: Doulas can improve maternal outcomes. But efforts to expand access in Indiana are slow

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Indiana had the highest maternal mortality rate for white women in the study, similar to states like Georgia or Tennessee.

With the state’s near-total abortion ban expected to take effect soon, some doctors have expressed concerns that this ban will only cause maternal mortality rates to worsen.

Some states in the study, such as Colorado and Illinois, had lower 2019 maternal mortality rates. The study said this could be due to lower “risk factors that drive maternal deaths” in these states or more successful preventive efforts.

Violet is IPB's daily news reporter. Contact her at vcomberwilen@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @ComberWilen.
Copyright 2023 IPB News.

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Violet Comber-Wilen