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Geographic, Health Care Access, Racial Discrimination, and Socioeconomic Determinants of Maternal Mortality in Georgia, United States

Authors
  • Armstrong-Mensah, Elizabeth
  • Dada, Damilola
  • Bowers, Amber
  • Muhammad, Aruba
  • Nnoli, Chisom
Type
Published Article
Journal
International Journal of Maternal and Child Health and AIDS
Publisher
Global Health and Education Projects, Inc
Publication Date
Dec 13, 2021
Volume
10
Issue
2
Pages
278–286
Identifiers
DOI: 10.21106/ijma.524
PMID: 34938596
PMCID: PMC8679596
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Commentary | Maternal Mortality
License
Unknown

Abstract

Over the past decade, the United States has been taking steps to reduce its rising maternal mortality rate. However, these steps have yet to produce positive results in the state of Georgia, which tops the list of all 50 states with the highest maternal mortality rate of 46.2 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births for all women, and a maternal mortality rate of 66.6 deaths per 100,000 live births for African American women. In Georgia, several social determinants of health such as the physical environment, economic stability, health care access, and the quality of maternal care contribute to the high maternal mortality rate. Addressing these determinants will help to reduce the state’s maternal mortality rate. This commentary discusses the relationship between social determinants of health and maternal mortality rates in Georgia. It also proposes strategies for reversing the trend. We conducted an ecological study of the relationship between social determinants of health and maternal mortality in Georgia. We searched PubMed and Google Scholar and reviewed 80 English articles published between 2005 and 2021. We identified five key social determinants associated with high maternal mortality rates in Georgia - geographic location of obstetric services, access to health care providers, socioeconomic status, racism, and discrimination. We found that expanding Medicaid coverage, reducing maternal health care disparities among the races, providing access to maternal care for women in rural areas, and training a culturally competent health workforce, will help to reduce Georgia’s high maternal mortality rate.

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