JEFFERSON CITY-The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) has published A Multi Year Look at Maternal Mortality in Missouri: 2018-2020 Annual Report on behalf of the state’s Pregnancy-Associated Mortality Review (PAMR) Board.
The report is an aggregate of a three year survey of the PAMR, and is based upon the latest data available. Analysis of the data and patient records indicates the top causes of pregnancy-related death are mental health, cardiovascular issues and homicide.
The PAMR Board, a multidisciplinary group of experts from across the state, has been tasked with examining the contributing factors and causes associated with maternal mortality, ultimately forming recommendations capable of preventing such deaths from occurring in the future.
The 2018-2020 annual report contains both the data and leading causes of pregnancy-related deaths, and factors that contributed to these deaths, such as mental health conditions and SUD. The report also reflects the disparities that exist in Missouri among our most vulnerable populations, including our Black and publicly insured communities.
- An average of 70 Missouri women died while pregnant or within one year of pregnancy each year, with the highest number recorded in 2020 (85 deaths).
- Mental health conditions, including SUDs, were the leading underlying cause of pregnancy-related deaths, followed by cardiovascular disease and homicides.
- All pregnancy-related deaths due to mental health conditions, including SUD, were determined to be preventable.
- Black women living in Missouri are three times more likely to die within one year of pregnancy than white women.
- The number of suicide deaths doubled when comparing 2017-2019 with 2018-2020. This corresponded with an increase in the number of firearm deaths.
- Women on Medicaid in the state of Missouri are 10 times more likely to die within one year of pregnancy than those with private insurance.
Included in the report are recommendations made by the PAMR Board based on case reviews, including six directed at Missouri lawmakers. By the end of the 2023 session, four of these recommendations were funded by the General Assembly and Governor Mike Parson.
In addition to funding being appropriated for the following Medicaid adjustments, $4,350,000 in general revenue was also approved for DHSS to implement a maternal mortality prevention plan. The 2018-2020 annual report can be viewed at Health.Mo.Gov/data/pamr.