Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Chilean study: education reduces maternal deaths

Canada has lowest maternal mortality rate in the Americas, Chile number two

Doctors found the higher a woman's educational level, the lesser the risk of dying in childbirth.

A study out of Chile has crunched the data for 50 years of maternal mortality rates and found that the most important factor in reducing maternal mortality is the educational level of women. The research, entitled “Women’s Education Level, Maternal Health Facilities, Abortion Legislation and Maternal Deaths: a Natural Experiment in Chile from 1957 to 2007” was conducted on behalf of the Chilean Maternal Mortality Research Initiative (CMMRI).
The authors looked at factors likely to affect maternal mortality, such as years of education, per capita income, total fertility rate, birth order, clean water supply, sanitary sewer, and childbirth delivery by skilled attendants. 
During the fifty-year period, the Maternal Mortality Ratio or MMR (the number of maternal deaths related to childbearing divided by the number of live births) dramatically declined by 93.8%, from 270.7 to 18.2 deaths per 100,000 live births between 1957 and 2007, making Chile a paragon for maternal health in other countries and only trailing Canada for best in the Americas.

Read the full study here. 

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