More than 20% of pregnancies are carried by women who are pregnant, according to new research from the University of Michigan and University of California, Davis.
“The average woman’s risk of having a pregnancy-related death is about two per 100,000 pregnancies, and the rate of pregnancy-associated mortality is about six per 100 million,” Dr. John Haughey, the lead author of the study and associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University at Buffalo, told ABC News.
“That means that for every woman in the United States who is pregnant, one in five will die from pregnancy-induced complications.
So it’s a very, very serious problem.”
The new research is the first to look at the relationship between maternal age and pregnancy-causing complications, and it’s important to note that many factors, such as maternal age, socioeconomic status, and body mass index, can contribute to complications, the authors said.
In the study, the researchers looked at data from nearly 40,000 women who were pregnant between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2020.
In the study period, there were nearly 4.4 million pregnancies in the U.S., the majority of which were carried out by women in their early 30s.
The study was published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.
“The big surprise here is that the rate we saw in our study was actually much higher than what we had previously thought,” Dr Haugough said.
“We’re seeing much higher mortality rates.”
The researchers found that women who gave birth between 20 and 29 weeks of pregnancy were more likely to be diagnosed with a pregnancy complication than those who gave their babies before age 30.
In addition, women who became pregnant later in pregnancy had a slightly higher rate of miscarriage and an increased risk of stillbirth.
Haughey and his colleagues found that, on average, there are two to three pregnancies per woman who are obese, which is a marker for overweight or obese.
“What we found was that in terms of gestational age, pregnancy-prevention is very strongly associated with obesity,” Haughew said.
“There’s a lot of people who think obesity is a sign of poor pregnancy outcomes, but obesity does not correlate with pregnancy outcomes at all.
And it has a lot to do with genetics.
And we found that obesity is associated with complications from pregnancy.”
The study also found that pregnancies where a woman had diabetes or heart disease, or those where a man had a medical condition that prevented him from breastfeeding, were more common in women who had a higher BMI.
The authors concluded that a person’s BMI should not be considered an indicator of pregnancy outcome, and they also recommended that pregnant women be encouraged to eat a variety of foods during pregnancy.
“You should never be eating only fruits and vegetables, because that will increase your risk of pregnancy complications,” Haughhey said.
Houghhew added that more research is needed to determine if a healthy diet during pregnancy will prevent pregnancy complications.