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Susanna Trost on Addressing Perinatal Mental Health to Curb Maternal Mortality

A Health Podyssey

Susanna Trost on Addressing Perinatal Mental Health to Curb Maternal Mortality

Listen to Health Affairs Editor-in-Chief Alan Wei interview Susanna Trost, an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education Fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on addressing perinatal…
November 2, 2021
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Susanna Trost on Addressing Perinatal Mental Health to Curb Maternal Mortality

With about 700 pregnancy-related deaths every year, the United States has the worst maternal mortality rates among developed countries.

One response to this crisis has been the creation of state and local maternal mortality review committees (MMRCs), which are multidisciplinary committees that examine the context in which maternal deaths occur.

The October 2021 issue of Health Affairs is focused on the topic of perinatal mental health. MMRC reports provide a treasure trove of information that can help us understand the role perinatal mental health plays in maternal mortality and what it might take to achieve better results.

Susanna Trost, an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education Fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, joins Health Affairs Editor-in-Chief Alan Weil on A Health Podyssey to discuss addressing perinatal mental health as a factor in maternal mortality.

Trost and co-authors published a paper in the October 2021 issue of Health Affairs analyzing data from 14 state and local MMRCs regarding pregnancy-related maternal death. Studying these determinations from 2008 to 2017, they identified the characteristics of, and factors contributing to, pregnancy-related deaths caused by mental health conditions, including substance use disorder.

They found that mental health conditions are the underlying cause of nearly one-in-nine pregnancy-related deaths, all of which were considered preventable by MMRCs.

This episode is sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania’s Master of Health Care Innovation.

If you like this interview, order the October Perinatal Mental Health Theme Issue.

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