Based on a controversial new study, pregnant women in the United States are just as likely to die than expectant moms in countries that were once part of the former Soviet block.
According to a report in Bloomberg News, childbearing American mothers are dying more often than their counterparts in countries like China and Iran. Moreover, despite improvements in medical technology and increases in lifespans among U.S. moms, a woman’s prognosis for death causes attributed to pregnancy remains weak.
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Michigan was ground zero for a team of nearly 2,000 researchers across 27 countries. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provided a grant for the research. The results appear in the journal Lancet.
Authors of the 2015 Global Burden of Disease, Injuries, and Risk Factors study focused on global childbirth trends across sociodemographic divides. After adjusting for sex, age, gender, time, and baseline death causes, scientists discovered an anomaly: pregnant women in the United States are dying as fast or faster than women in less developed countries.
While facts and figures with the World Health Organization show that progress is being made regarding healthy pregnancies and births around the world, statistics from the United States reflect a disturbing downward trend.
Nearly 280,000 women around the world died in 2015 during pregnancy or from conditions related to giving birth. Experts say the majority of fatal incidents were preventable. In the United States alone, deaths rose by nearly 3 percent over the past 15 years.
The pattern reflects a mortality ratio of 26.4 deaths for every 100,000 deliveries (or 1,063 total). Comparatively speaking, Iran, which has a much lower rate, only recorded 281 maternity-related fatalities last year. In short, while many nations are showing signs of decreasing maternal deaths, the United States is trending backward.
— GuelphMercuryTribune (@MercuryTribune) October 7, 2016
Since 1980, researchers identified and tracked 249 and 315 death causes and diseases, respectively. Still, there is little consensus over what primary drivers are behind the deaths of so many pregnant American women.
A growing body of evidence suggests that poor nutrition, obesity, and drug addiction account for a significant number of pregnancy-related mortalities. Recently, disturbing footage of heroin overdoses has been cropping up on American TV screens and social media.
Days ago, a viral video showed a couple passed out on the streets of Tennessee in broad daylight while bystanders laughed and mocked them. WCMA Action News 5 said Ronald and Carla Hiers suffered an overdose after snorting heroin at a local Walgreens store.
Paramedics transported the couple to a local hospital for treatment. Police arrested the woman after discharge and booked her on alleged narcotic and theft charges.
According to New York Daily News last month, another husband and wife were arrested on drug and child endangerment charges when police found them passed out in a vehicle while their minor child sat in a rear child seat.
Months ago, another video surfaced of several people passed out, and others were walking around like zombies on the streets of New York City. Reportedly, the victims were high on synthetic drugs. CBS 58 said they likely overdosed on the K2 drug.
In addition to the abysmal results in the pregnancy study, another journal reported findings from a complementary project. Project authors with the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York collected evidence that may have implications on the so-called “Fountain of Youth” apologists.
Researchers highlight the leaps and bounds in overall life expectancy. Deeper understandings of human physiology and limitations have resulted in people living longer. However, the same set of variables doesn’t apply to the segment of the population that lives beyond 100 years.
“Our results strongly suggest that the maximum lifespan of humans is fixed and subject to natural constraints.”
Apparently, the days of the biblical Methuselah are long gone.
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