A new report shows Missouri continues to struggle with pregnancy-related deaths.

Compiled by Missouri’s Pregnancy-Associated Mortality Review Board, the data is from 2018 to 2020 data. The report says the death rate was 32 deaths per 100,000 live births, which is up from the previous multi-year report’s rate of 25.2. The board said an average of 70 Missouri women died while pregnant or within one year of pregnancy, with the highest number, of 85 deaths, recorded in 2020.

The report says the top causes of pregnancy-related deaths in Missouri are mental health, including substance misuse, cardiovascular problems, and homicide. Eighty-four percent of pregnancy-related deaths were determined to be preventable, which is 9% higher than the last multi-year report.

Black Missouri women 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.

Missouri women on Medicaid are 10 times more likely to die within one year of pregnancy than those with private insurance.

This year, Gov. Mike Parson requested and the Missouri Legislature approved state funding of $4,350,000 to launch a statewide maternal mortality prevention plan. The effort includes extending Medicaid coverage to one year after delivery for low-income Missouri mothers.

To view the report, click https://health.mo.gov/data/pamr/.

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