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Pregnancy-Related Cardiovascular Outcomes Worse for Black Women

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16, 2020 -- Among pregnant and postpartum women, there are significant racial differences in major cardiovascular events, according to a study published online Dec. 16 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Mohamed M. Gad, M.D., from the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and colleagues identified pregnant and postpartum women hospitalized from January 2007 to December 2017 from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample. Independent associations between race and in-hospital outcomes were examined for 46,700,637 pregnancy-related hospitalizations, of which 46.4, 13.5, and 19.1 percent were for White, Black, and Hispanic women, respectively.

The researchers found that in Black women, the trends of mortality and stroke declined significantly, but in White women, they were mostly unchanged. The highest incidence of mortality and cardiovascular morbidity was seen among Black women, followed by White and then Hispanic women. Most Black women were insured by Medicaid (62.3 percent), while most White women had private insurance (61.9 percent). Most Black women were below median income (71.2 percent), while 52.7 percent of White women were above the median income. Compared with White women, Black women had the highest likelihood of mortality, myocardial infarction, stroke, pulmonary embolism, and peripartum cardiomyopathy (adjusted odds ratios, 1.45, 1.23, 1.57, 1.42, and 1.71, respectively).

"Our current observations and estimates provide policy makers as well as health care administrators with needed evidence to allocate funds to social and medical programs that can help reduce health disparities and inequities in pregnant women," the authors write.

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Posted: December 2020

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