Evidence Review: Maternal Mental Conditions Drive Climbing Death Rate in U.S.


credit: kcrg.com

"The contribution of mental health conditions to the maternal morbidity and mortality crisis that we have in America is not widely recognized," says Katherine L.Wisner, associate chief of Perinatal Mental Health at Children's National Hospital, in a press release.

That's why she and a team of researchers are calling for "urgent action" in the latest edition of JAMA Psychiatry to address what they call "the public health crisis that is contributing to the demise of mothers in America."

In a review of dozens of peer-reviewed studies and health policy sources, the team found that mental health disorders are a major factor in more than 80% of maternal deaths in the US, including more than twice as many women who die from postpartum hemorrhage as women who die from overdoses.

In fact, mental health disorders are responsible for nearly one in four maternal fatalities.

"We need to bring this to the attention of the public and policymakers to demand action to address the mental health crisis that is contributing to the demise of mothers in America," saysWisner.

The research team found that more than 400 maternity care centers closed between 2006 and 2020, leaving nearly 6 million women with limited or no access to maternity care.

In addition, only 20% of women are screened for postpartum mental health conditions,

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