CDC: Maternal deaths increased in 2021


A recent report from the CDC showed an increase in maternal mortality rates from 2019 and 2020 to 2021.

Maternal mortality rates saw a significant increase in 2021, according to a report from the CDC.

Data was taken from the National Vital Statistics System. Maternal deaths did not include all deaths related to pregnancy or occurring in pregnant women, instead including deaths assigned to International Statistical Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision code numbers A34, O00–O95, and O98–O99.

The World Health Organization defines maternal death as, “the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and the site of the pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management, but not from accidental or incidental causes.”

Data has been updated from the previous report, which detailed maternal death rates from 2018 to 2020. Maternal deaths are categorized based on race and ethnicity, with maternal mortality rates shown as the number of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births.

In the United States, maternal causes led to the deaths of 1205 women in 2021, compared to 754 in 2019 and 861 in 2020.The maternal mortality rate was 32.9 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2021, 20.1 in 2019, and 23.8 in 2020.

Non-Hispanic Black women had a maternal mortality rate of 69.9 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2021, which was 2.6 times greater than the rate for non-Hispanic White women. All races and ethnicities saw a significant increase in maternal mortality rates from 2020 to 2021, as did all age groups.

A correlation was identified with maternal age and maternal mortality rates, as mortality rates rose with age. In 2021, women aged under 25 years had a maternal mortality rate of 20.4 deaths per 100,000 live births. In comparison, women aged 25 to 29 years had a maternal mortality rate of 31.3, and those aged 40 years and over had a rate of 138.5.


Maternal mortality rates in the United States, 2021. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. March 16, 2023. Accessed March 22, 2023.

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