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Background: With the Maternal Mortality Review Information Application (MMRIA) data system, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), alongside Maternal Mortality Review Committees (MMRCs), are developing comprehensive and uniform data collection to eradicate preventable maternal deaths. However, MMRIA is primarily focused on pregnancy-related deaths, and not pregnancy-associated deaths. Currently, the National Violent Death Reporting System Restricted Access Data (NVDRS-RAD) on pregnancy-associated homicides and suicides are not included in MMRIA and by extension the work of most MMRCs. This study examined the NVDRS-RAD data from 2014 to 2017 and argues that the data for pregnancy-associated maternal deaths should be integrated into the work of MMRCs. Methods: A secondary data analysis of the NVDRS-RAD from 2014 to 2017 was conducted. Pregnancy-associated mortality was identified using data available within the NVDRS-RAD and categorized according to period of pregnancy and manner of death. Descriptive statistics and risk ratios were calculated. Chi-square tests were also calculated. Results: The results indicate that pregnancy and the postpartum period show increased risk for homicide and suicide. Pregnant women were found to be five times more likely to die by homicide than their nonpregnant peers who died by violent means. The relationships between periods of pregnancy and manner of death were all found to be significantly associated although the association was weak. Conclusions: Integrating National Violent Death Reporting System data on pregnancy-associated deaths into MMRIA would improve the efficacy of MMRCs and address the intertwined risk factors driving the racial disparities of the United States' maternal mortality rate.


Jennifer M Miller, Susan Rensing. Integrating National Violent Death Reporting System Data into Maternal Mortality Review Committees. Journal of women's health (2002). 2021 Nov;30(11):1573-1579

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PMID: 34379991

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