Maternal Mortality Amongst Immigrant Women in Europe and the USA: a Systematic Review.

The vast majority of the articles included in the current review show an increased risk of maternal death in immigrants in Europe and the USA. The majority of articles indicated that the main causes of maternal death were haemorrhage, infection/sepsis, gestational hypertension and amniotic fluid embolism.

This excess risk depends on maternal birthplace, the region where the prenatal checkups and delivery took place and other maternal characteristics such as age or the presence of comorbidities.

There are two possible reasons why immigrant patients have a higher rate of severe morbidity events. The first is that the health status of immigrant women is different from that of native patients due to inequalities in healthcare between the countries of origin. The second reason is that there may be an excess of risk acquired in the country of arrival due to the impossibility of the pregnant immigrant to access an adequate level of prenatal care.

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Written by:

Dr Rajiv Varma MB, FRCOG

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