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Maternal Mortality
Maternal Mortality in New Jersey
New Jersey

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New Jersey Value:

24.1

Number of deaths related to or aggravated by pregnancy (excluding accidental or incidental causes) occurring within 42 days of the end of a pregnancy per 100,000 live births

New Jersey Rank:

27

Maternal Mortality in depth:

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Maternal Mortality by State

Number of deaths related to or aggravated by pregnancy (excluding accidental or incidental causes) occurring within 42 days of the end of a pregnancy per 100,000 live births




Maternal Mortality Trends

Number of deaths related to or aggravated by pregnancy (excluding accidental or incidental causes) occurring within 42 days of the end of a pregnancy per 100,000 live births

Trend: Maternal Mortality in New Jersey, United States, 2023 Health Of Women And Children Report

Number of deaths related to or aggravated by pregnancy (excluding accidental or incidental causes) occurring within 42 days of the end of a pregnancy per 100,000 live births

New Jersey
United States
Source:

 Federally Available Data, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration

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About Maternal Mortality

US Value: 22.4

Top State(s): California: 9.5

Bottom State(s): Alabama: 41.9

Definition: Number of deaths related to or aggravated by pregnancy (excluding accidental or incidental causes) occurring within 42 days of the end of a pregnancy per 100,000 live births

Data Source and Years: Federally Available Data, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration, 2017-2021

Suggested Citation: America's Health Rankings analysis of Federally Available Data, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration, United Health Foundation, AmericasHealthRankings.org, accessed 2023.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines maternal mortality as “female deaths from any cause related to or aggravated by pregnancy or its management (excluding accidental or incidental causes) during pregnancy and childbirth or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and site of the pregnancy.” The maternal mortality rate in the United States has risen steadily since 1990, and the U.S. consistently has the highest rate among high-income countries. Moreover, there has been a substantial increase in maternal deaths since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Substantial disparities in maternal mortality persist by race and ethnicity. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) monitors pregnancy-related mortality at the national level. Their surveillance expands the follow-up period to within one year of the end of pregnancy and conducts thorough reviews of each death. The leading causes of pregnancy-related deaths in the U.S. are cardiovascular diseases, infection or sepsis, hemorrhage (bleeding), hypertensive disorders (high blood pressure) and other non-cardiovascular medical conditions, including mental health conditions. According to the CDC, cardiovascular conditions account for more than one-third of perinatal mortality. Complications with cesarean deliveries also play a role in maternal mortality. A recent study broke down the most common causes of maternal mortality by race and ethnicity, which were:

  • Cardiovascular and coronary conditions among non-Hispanic Black mothers.
  • Mental health conditions among non-Hispanic white and Hispanic mothers.
  • Hemorrhage among non-Hispanic Asian mothers.
  • Mental health conditions and hemorrhage among American Indian/Alaska Native mothers.

The maternal mortality rate is higher among: 

  • Black and American Indian/Alaska Native women compared with Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic and white women.
  • Women without any college education. However, racial and ethnic disparities eclipse differences in education level, with college-educated Black women still experiencing far higher maternal mortality rates than white and Hispanic women without a high school education.
  • Women ages 40 and older, who have a maternal mortality rate nearly 16 times that of mothers under 40.
  • Women who live in rural areas compared with those who live in urban areas. Hospital closures in rural areas have decreased access to services such as obstetrics, further contributing to difficulties in maternal care. 

According to the WHO, the majority of maternal deaths resulting from pregnancy-related complications are preventable. Most pregnancy-related deaths could be prevented by improving the quality of medical care. Approaches to reducing and preventing maternal mortality include:

  • Preconception health: A healthy pregnancy begins before conception. Improving women’s health by preventing and treating chronic disease may result in healthier pregnancies with fewer complications.
  • Collaboration with midwives and doulas: A study found that incorporating midwives as part of the care team during pregnancy, labor, delivery and postpartum recovery is associated with better maternal health outcomes. Areas without nearby hospital services in particular may benefit from midwifery care. 
  • Medical care improvement: Improvements to hospital protocol and patient safety tools have been effective strategies to reduce maternal mortality. In one study, a collaborative hospital quality improvement program reduced severe maternal morbidity from hemorrhage. Systems to detect early warning signs during prenatal visits may prevent delays in diagnosing and treating conditions that lead to maternal death. The Alliance for Innovation in Maternal Health program offers quality improvement toolkits, maternal early warning system trainings and other resources to support and guide quality improvement efforts in health care facilities. 
  • Maternal Mortality Review Committees (MMRCs): These committees are made up of various medical professionals tasked with identifying and investigating maternal deaths. They attempt to determine the preventability of maternal deaths and recommend focused approaches to prevent future deaths and reduce disparities in maternal mortality. Nearly all U.S. states have MMRCs, and many have established legislation requiring a review of maternal deaths. 

Many factors are likely associated with the increased risk of death among women of color. Efforts to improve access to high-quality care, reduce the prevalence of chronic conditions and address structural racism and implicit bias in health care may help reduce racial and ethnic disparities. The CDC provides actionable steps that individuals, health care providers, health systems, communities and states can take to reduce racial disparities in maternal mortality.

Reducing the maternal mortality rate is a Healthy People 2030 leading health indicator.

 

Bailey, Zinzi D., Nancy Krieger, Madina Agénor, Jasmine Graves, Natalia Linos, and Mary T. Bassett. “Structural Racism and Health Inequities in the USA: Evidence and Interventions.” The Lancet 389, no. 10077 (April 2017): 1453–63. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(17)30569-X.

D’Oria, Robyn, Karin Downs, and Karen Trierweiler. “Report from MMRCs: A View into Their Critical Role.” Building U.S. Capacity to Review and Prevent Maternal Deaths, 2017. https://www.cdcfoundation.org/sites/default/files/files/MMRIAReport.pdf.

Ford, Nicole D., Shanna Cox, Jean Y. Ko, Lijing Ouyang, Lisa Romero, Tiffany Colarusso, Cynthia D. Ferre, Charlan D. Kroelinger, Donald K. Hayes, and Wanda D. Barfield. “Hypertensive Disorders in Pregnancy and Mortality at Delivery Hospitalization — United States, 2017–2019.” MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 71, no. 17 (April 29, 2022): 585–91. https://doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm7117a1.

Gunja, Munira Z., Shanoor Seervai, Laurie C. Zephyrin, and Reginald D. II Williams. “Health and Health Care for Women of Reproductive Age: How the United States Compares with Other High-Income Countries.” Issue Brief. The Commonwealth Fund, April 5, 2022. https://doi.org/10.26099/4pph-j894.

Hall, William J., Mimi V. Chapman, Kent M. Lee, Yesenia M. Merino, Tainayah W. Thomas, B. Keith Payne, Eugenia Eng, Steven H. Day, and Tamera Coyne-Beasley. “Implicit Racial/Ethnic Bias Among Health Care Professionals and Its Influence on Health Care Outcomes: A Systematic Review.” American Journal of Public Health 105, no. 12 (October 15, 2015): e60–76. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2015.302903.

Howell, Elizabeth A. “Reducing Disparities in Severe Maternal Morbidity and Mortality.” Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology 61, no. 2 (June 2018): 387–99. https://doi.org/10.1097/GRF.0000000000000349.

Hoyert, Donna. “Maternal Mortality Rates in the United States, 2021.” NCHS Health E-Stats. National Center for Health Statistics, March 16, 2023. https://doi.org/10.15620/cdc:124678.

Kassebaum, Nicholas J., Caitlyn Steiner, Christopher J. L. Murray, Alan D. Lopez, and Rafael Lozano. “Global, Regional, and National Levels of Maternal Mortality, 1990-2015: A Systematic Analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015.” The Lancet 388, no. 10053 (October 2016): 1775–1812. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(16)31470-2.

Keating, Kim, David Murphey, Sarah Daily, Renee Ryberg, and Jessie Laurore. “Maternal and Child Health Inequities Emerge Even Before Birth.” The State of Babies Yearbook: 2020. ZERO TO THREE, 2020. https://stateofbabies.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Maternal-and-Child-Health-Inequities-Emerge-Even-Before-Birth.pdf.

Kozhimannil, Katy Backes, Julia D. Interrante, Carrie Henning-Smith, and Lindsay K. Admon. “Rural-Urban Differences In Severe Maternal Morbidity And Mortality In The US, 2007–15.” Health Affairs 38, no. 12 (December 1, 2019): 2077–85. https://doi.org/10.1377/hlthaff.2019.00805.

Lassi, Zohra S., Ayesha M. Imam, Sohni V. Dean, and Zulfiqar A. Bhutta. “Preconception Care: Screening and Management of Chronic Disease and Promoting Psychological Health.” Reproductive Health 11, no. S3 (2014): S5. https://doi.org/10.1186/1742-4755-11-S3-S5.

Lu, Michael C., Keisher Highsmith, David de la Cruz, and Hani K. Atrash. “Putting the ‘M’ Back in the Maternal and Child Health Bureau: Reducing Maternal Mortality and Morbidity.” Maternal and Child Health Journal 19, no. 7 (July 2015): 1435–39. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10995-015-1665-6.

MacDorman, Marian F., Eugene Declercq, and Marie E. Thoma. “Trends in Maternal Mortality by Sociodemographic Characteristics and Cause of Death in 27 States and the District of Columbia.” Obstetrics & Gynecology 129, no. 5 (May 2017): 811–18. https://doi.org/10.1097/AOG.0000000000001968.

Main, Elliott K., Valerie Cape, Anisha Abreo, Julie Vasher, Amanda Woods, Andrew Carpenter, and Jeffrey B. Gould. “Reduction of Severe Maternal Morbidity from Hemorrhage Using a State Perinatal Quality Collaborative.” American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 216, no. 3 (March 2017): 298.e1-298.e11. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajog.2017.01.017.

Mhyre, Jill M., Robyn D'Oria, Afshan B. Hameed, Justin R. Lappen, Sharon L. Holley, Stephen K. Hunter, Robin L. Jones, Jeffrey C. King, and Mary E. D'Alton. “The Maternal Early Warning Criteria: A Proposal From the National Partnership for Maternal Safety.” Obstetrics & Gynecology 124, no. 4 (October 2014): 782–86. https://doi.org/10.1097/AOG.0000000000000480.

Petersen, Emily E., Nicole L. Davis, David Goodman, Shanna Cox, Nikki Mayes, Emily Johnston, Carla Syverson, et al. “Vital Signs: Pregnancy-Related Deaths, United States, 2011–2015, and Strategies for Prevention, 13 States, 2013–2017.” MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 68, no. 18 (May 7, 2019): 423–29. https://doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6818e1.

Petersen, Emily E., Nicole L. Davis, David Goodman, Shanna Cox, Carla Syverson, Kristi Seed, Carrie Shapiro-Mendoza, William M. Callaghan, and Wanda Barfield. “Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Pregnancy-Related Deaths — United States, 2007–2016.” MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 68, no. 35 (September 6, 2019): 762–65. https://doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6835a3.

Platt, Taylor, and Neva Kaye. “Four State Strategies to Employ Doulas to Improve Maternal Health and Birth Outcomes in Medicaid.” Brief. The National Academy for State Health Policy, July 13, 2020. https://nashp.org/four-state-strategies-to-employ-doulas-to-improve-maternal-health-and-birth-outcomes-in-medicaid/.

Thoma, Marie E., and Eugene R. Declercq. “All-Cause Maternal Mortality in the US Before vs During the COVID-19 Pandemic.” JAMA Network Open 5, no. 6 (June 28, 2022): e2219133. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.19133.

Trost, Susanna, Jennifer Beauregard, Gyan Chandra, Fanny Njie, Jasmine Berry, Alyssa Harvey, and David A. Goodman. “Pregnancy-Related Deaths: Data from Maternal Mortality Review Committees in 36 US States, 2017–2019.” Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2022. https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/maternal-mortality/erase-mm/data-mmrc.html.

Trost, Susanna, Jennifer Beauregard, Gyan Chandra, Fanny Njie, Alyssa Harvey, Jasmine Berry, and David A. Goodman. “Pregnancy-Related Deaths Among American Indian or Alaska Native Persons: Data from Maternal Mortality Review Committees in 36 US States, 2017–2019.” Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2022. https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/maternal-mortality/docs/pdf/Pregnancy-Related-Deaths-AIAN-Data-MMRCs-2017-2019-H.pdf.

Vedam, Saraswathi, Kathrin Stoll, Marian MacDorman, Eugene Declercq, Renee Cramer, Melissa Cheyney, Timothy Fisher, Emma Butt, Y. Tony Yang, and Holly Powell Kennedy. “Mapping Integration of Midwives across the United States: Impact on Access, Equity, and Outcomes.” Edited by Dongmei Li. PLOS ONE 13, no. 2 (February 21, 2018): e0192523. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0192523.

 

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