by Ivanne Guevara
Mortality rates have risen in the past 10 years despite medical improvements, according to the 2014 Maternal Mortality and Mobidity Task Force Report. The data in this report comes from the Department of State Health Services from September 2014, so it is a raw and reliable source. While 2014 is not the most recent year to obtain data, it tracks data from 10 years, so it is useful for encasing and analyzing the overall trends in maternal health throughout the past decade.
The data is presented in a line graph where different races and their mortality rates are plotted beginning from 2007. Out of White, Black and Hispanic women, Hispanics had the lowest mortality rate and maintained consistency of about 10 deaths per 100,000 births. White women experienced a sharp increase from 2010 to 2011, adding seven deaths per 100,000 births. But the most surprising find was in the Black women mortality rate, which nearly quadrupled from 2007 to 2011. They by far had the highest mortality rates in Texas.
This data set raises the question of why this particular ethnic group has such a disparity in maternal death rates. This invites new investigations and new data to support the findings. We need to uncover what is the main cause of death for these women and why it is different for other women. According to the graph, 2010 was the year when mortality rates shot up, so it is essential to investigate what data can explain the reason for this jump.