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Predictors of maternal mortality and near-miss maternal morbidity



To identify risk factors for life-threatening maternal outcomes.

Study design:

Hospital charts were reviewed for cases of maternal mortality or near-miss and for controls overmatched 1:3. Significant risk factors were identified through simple and best subsets multiple logistic regression.


Eight cases of mortality and 69 near-miss cases were found. Significant risk factors with their odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals are: age 35 to 39 years (2.3, 1.2 to 4.4) and >39 years (5.1, 1.8 to 14.4); African-American race (7.4, 2.5 to 22.0) and Hispanic ethnicity (4.2, 1.3 to 13.2); chronic medical condition (2.7, 1.5 to 4.8); obesity (3.0, 1.7 to 5.3); prior cesarean (5.2, 2.8 to 9.8) and gravidity (1.2, 1.1 to 1.5 per pregnancy). In multivariable logistic regression, race remained significant while controlling for other significant factors and markers of socioeconomic status.


Some risk factors can be modified through medical care, education or social support systems. Racial disparity in outcome is confirmed and is unexplained by traditional risk factors.

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Correspondence to C Chazotte.

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Goffman, D., Madden, R., Harrison, E. et al. Predictors of maternal mortality and near-miss maternal morbidity. J Perinatol 27, 597–601 (2007).

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  • maternal mortality
  • near-miss maternal morbidity
  • severe maternal morbidity
  • maternal death

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