A rare tragedy, but very sad: every year, 50 to 100 women in France die between pregnancy and up to a year after giving birth, according to the sixth report of the Confidential National Inquiry on Maternal Deaths published Wednesday by ‘Inserm.
These “maternal deaths” represent an average of one death every four days, or 87 women per year who die from a cause related to pregnancy, childbirth or their consequences.
Cardiovascular disease and suicide involved
According to this study conducted in 2013 and 2015, “the main cause of the 262 deaths recorded in three years is cardiovascular disease (36 deaths, or 13.7%), followed by suicide (35 deaths or 13.4% ) “.
If maternal mortality (10.8 deaths per 100,000 live births) remains stable compared to the periods 2010-2012 and 2007-2009, researchers still note good news: “Birth bleeding is no longer the leading cause of maternal mortality” (only 8% between 2013 and 2015) . And the frequency of this cause of death has been reduced by 2 in 15 years.
This shows, according to Inserm, better management of this bleeding.
In contrast, amniotic fluid bleeding is the third most important cause of maternal mortality. “In 66% of the cases, the care was not optimal, and 58% of the deaths were considered ‘preventable’ or ‘perhaps avoidable'”, the authors of the study note.
Age, standard of living, origin as risk factors
Several risk factors, which have already been observed previously, also affect the death of the mother. The older the women, the higher this risk (x4 for those over 40 compared to those aged 25-29). Obesity also plays a role: 24.2% of deaths (double the proportion in the general population) apply to women suffering from obesity.
The social and territorial context also has an impact: “26.5% of maternal deaths occurred in women who presented at least one criterion for socio-economic vulnerability”, the survey indicates. Maternal mortality for women born outside France is also higher than for women born in France.
In addition, the maternal mortality rate is particularly high in the foreign departments (x4 compared to the French mainland) and in Île-de-France (+ 55% compared to other regions).