Recent 2020 Data Shows a Significant Spike in Maternal Deaths

The pandemic led to an “unprecedented” increase in Hispanic pregnant women dying in 2020 compared to previous years, according to a study in JAMA. There was also an increase in existing disparities for Black pregnant women, who die at higher rates than white women. COVID itself, along with the way the pandemic delayed care for other conditions, likely contributed to the higher death toll during 2020. There were large increases in the rate of maternal deaths from viral and respiratory diseases in 2020 as well as from diabetes and hypertensive disorders. Regardless of the cause, the pandemic “created a new disparity and exacerbated existing ones,” according to one of the study’s co-authors.