Maternal health outcomes in Europe

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Objectives: To use PERISTAT data on indicators of maternal mortality and morbidity to explore maternal health outcomes in Europe, and to discuss the implications of variations in the data sources for these indicators. Study design: The PERISTAT feasibility study provides the source for this descriptive study, covering 15 European countries. Maternal mortality ratios are calculated, and data to describe maternal mortality by age, cause of death and mode of delivery are pooled for the countries that provided data. Results: Data presented show an increased risk of maternal death among older mothers and for caesarean sections compared with other modes of delivery, and the three most prevalent causes of maternal deaths reported were embolism, hypertensive diseases of pregnancy, and haemorrhage. Conclusions: Variations in maternal mortality ratios reflect different data sources with varying levels of ascertainment in addition to differences in the number of maternal deaths. Further development is needed to construct comparable indicators of maternal morbidity.

Authors & affiliation: 
Sophie Alexandera,*, Katherine Wildmanb, Weihong Zhanga, Martin Langerc, Christian Vutucd, Gunilla Lindmarke aReproductive Health Unit, School of Public Health, Universite´ Libre de Bruxelles, 808, Route de Lennik, 1070 Brussels, Belgium bINSERM Unite´ 149, Epidiomiological Research Unit on Perinatal and Women’s Health, Paris, France cInstitute of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Universita¨tsklinik fu¨r Frauenheilkunde, Vienna, Austria dAbtellung fu¨r Epidemiologie, Insitute fu¨r Krebsforschung der Universita¨t Wien, Wien, Austria eInternational Maternal and Child Health Unit, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
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Published In: 
S. Alexander et al. / European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology 111 (2003) S78–S87
Publication date: 
Friday, November 28, 2003