The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association report found that black women in Philadelphia are more likely to have serious childbirth complications


The incidence of childbirth complications in adult women in the United States continues to rise, and black women face a particularly high risk.

Severe maternal morbidity — Unexpected Result of childbirth that leads to short-term or long-term health consequences– Women in the majority black community are 63% higher than women in the majority white community.

This risk is even more pronounced in the Greater Philadelphia area, where the incidence of severe maternal morbidity among black women is nearly 190% higher. According to the new report From Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

The study was conducted two months after the city’s maternal mortality review committee Published data It shows that black women in Philadelphia are four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes. From 2013 to 2018, black women accounted for 73% of deaths, although only 43% of total births.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Report reviewed 21 childbirth complications The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considered indicators of severe maternal morbidity. They include kidney failure, septicemia, Shocked and EclampsiaWhen a woman’s seizures may cause brain damage or coma, it is a serious complication of pre-eclampsia.

The report found that most women in black communities have twice the prevalence of risk factors for severe maternal diseases—for example Diabetes, high blood pressure, and anemia—not most women in the white community.

The prevalence of heart disease among black women in the Philadelphia area is higher than that of white women—2.4 per 100 people and 1.5 per 100 people. Researchers say this finding is crucial, because women with heart disease have a 14 times higher risk of serious maternal disease.

The researchers found that black women under the age of 24 have a higher risk of serious childbirth complications than white women over the age of 35, and this age group is traditionally considered a high-risk group.

Hispanic women also have a higher risk of complications during childbirth. Data show that in the past two years, their incidence of serious childbirth complications has increased by 19%.

In most black and Hispanic communities, women have a higher prevalence in almost all of the severe maternal morbidity indicators examined. For black women, kidney failure is the most common complication. For Hispanic women, this is a type of hysterectomy.

The incidence of pulmonary edema or acute heart failure in black women is almost three times that of white women.

Addressing racial health differences

Blue Cross Blue Shield also surveyed nearly 750 women’s pregnancy and childbirth care experiences last year. Only 62% of black mothers completed all recommended prenatal checkups. The most common reasons for missed visits are traffic difficulties and schedule conflicts. The survey includes businesses, medical assistance, medical insurance, and uninsured individuals.

In general, black and Hispanic women said they have low confidence in getting the care they need and are reluctant to talk openly with healthcare providers.

“The maternal health gap in our region is the highest in the country,” Chief Medical Officer Dr. Richard Snyder said Independence Blue Cross. “We cannot and should not accept these huge differences, especially in one of the most advanced areas of healthcare. We must address these issues immediately to ensure that women of all races can get pregnant and give birth in a healthy way. “

In April, the Blue Cross Blue Shield pledged Reduce racial disparities Maternal health has dropped by 50% within five years. The health insurance company formed an advisory group of doctors, public health experts, and community leaders to develop its strategy.

Independence has initiated several efforts to address racial health disparities, including the Keystone Connection to Wellness program, which addresses health disparities in North Philadelphia, and maternal health programs such as Baby blueprint with Bright Start Maternity Plan.

Through the baby blueprint, pregnant women can obtain behavioral health checks and social needs assessment, such as transportation and food safety issues. Bright Start Maternity Program is a medical assistance program that ensures members receive continuous prenatal care as soon as possible.



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