Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Homicide, suicide outpace traditional causes of death in pregnant, postpartum women

21.10.2011
Violent deaths are outpacing traditional causes of maternal mortality, such as hemorrhage and preeclampsia, and conflicts with intimate partner are often a factor, researchers report.

"We found that the mortality rate from homicide and suicide were more common than what we think of as traditional causes of maternal mortality," said Dr. Christie L. Palladino, an obstetrician-gynecologist and educational researcher at Georgia Health Sciences University. "It's not what you want to read, but it's the reality."

The analysis of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Violent Death Reporting System, a surveillance system from 17 states, found 94 pregnancy-associated suicides and 139 homicides from 2003-07. Overall, 64.4 percent of pregnancy-associated violent deaths – classified by the CDC as death during pregnancy and the following year – occurred during pregnancy. The mortality rate was 4.9 per 100,000 live births.

The findings, published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, are a wakeup call for health care providers and families alike about the need for mental health awareness and treatment at a time typically associated with great joy, said Palladino who is working to enhance training of obstetrician-gynecologists in depression diagnosis and treatment.

"We have a lot of studies looking at the effects of pregnancy on the baby but often we don't focus so much on outcomes for moms, and the most disastrous of those for both mom and baby would be suicide," Palladino said. She noted that homicide and suicide are both potentially preventable. "The more we look into ways to prevent suicide, ways to effectively manage women with mental health diagnoses during pregnancy and postpartum, the more we can take steps to prevent these deaths," she said.

Among the suicides, 45.7 percent occurred during pregnancy and problems with current or former partners appeared to contribute to more than half. Older, Caucasian women were at greatest risk. Among homicides, 77.7 percent occurred during pregnancy and more than half the women were age 24 or younger and unmarried. Nearly half were black, even though black women accounted for less than 20 percent of the live births, and 45 percent were associated with violence from a current or former partner.

In follow-up, Palladino is surveying practicing physicians about their practice patterns in treating depression during pregnancy. She and her colleagues also want to learn more about precipitating circumstances such as substance abuse, stress and mental illness and treatment. Studies already indicate that intervention lowers the recurrence risk of intimate partner violence in pregnancy and postpartum.

It was her early experience as an obstetrician-gynecologist who felt ill-prepared to treat depression in pregnant women that got her interested in the topic. A 2003 report in The British Journal of Psychiatry identifying suicide as the leading cause of maternal death in Great Britain sealed the deal. "Unfortunately what we found paralleled the Great Britain findings," Palladino said.

The good news is that evidence-based guidelines for depression treatment during pregnancy or postpartum have been developed by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and The American Psychiatric Association, she said. The bad news is that women and their providers might be hesitant to seek or provide care because mental illness and pregnancy seem counterintuitive.

Collateral materials such as police, coroner and medical examiner reports also were examined as part of the CDC database to provide greater context for the cause of death. While the overall pregnancy-associated violent death rate was stable over the four-year study period, those numbers could be underreported because the pregnancy or postpartum status was marked "unknown" in the majority of female deaths in the CDC database, the researchers noted. Pregnancy or postpartum status also could be missed because autopsies might not include a pregnancy exam, might miss postpartum signs or might fail to report pregnancy status on death certificates.

States participating in the CDC violent death database include South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, New Jersey, Maryland, Alaska, Massachusetts, Oregon, Colorado, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, California, Kentucky, New Mexico and Utah.

Researchers at the University of Michigan and Johns Hopkins University co-authored the study.

Toni Baker | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.georgiahealth.edu

Further reports about: Great Basin Health Sciences Homicide Palladino mental illness mortality rate

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>