- California’s rate of pregnancy-related deaths increased in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, California’s pregnancy-related mortality ratio was 18.6 deaths per 100,000 live births – a 45% increase compared with the rate of 12.8 in 2019. Deaths from COVID-19 contributed to this rise.
- The leading causes of pregnancy-related mortality in 2018–2020 were cardiovascular disease, hemorrhage, and infection.
- The rate of pregnancy-related deaths from hypertensive disorders of pregnancy decreased significantly in 2018–2020 compared with prior years.
- Racial/ethnic disparities in the rates of pregnancy-related deaths narrowed in 2018–-2020 but persist. The rate for Black birthing people was 3.1 to 3.6 times higher than the rates for Asian, Hispanic/Latina, and White birthing people.
- Disparities in the rates of pregnancy-related deaths by type of health care insurance widened over time. In 2018–2020, the rate for birthing people with Medi-Cal health coverage was 2.8 times higher than the rate for those with private health insurance.
- The rate of pregnancy-related deaths was consistently higher for birthing people living in the least advantaged community conditions than for those living in more advantaged community conditions. In 2018–2020, the rate for those living in the least advantaged community conditions was 2.1 times higher than the rate for those living in the most advantaged community conditions.
For more details, see the latest
CA-PMSS data slides (PPTX) and Pregnancy-Related Mortality Dashboard.