COVID sparked explosion in pregnancy-related overdoses, murders: Study

Pregnant mothers died from drug overdoses and homicides in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, “significantly more” than in previous years, according to a new study.

Five public health researchers will present a study Wednesday at JAMA Network Open that analyzed death certificate records from 4,528 women aged 15 to 44 between January 1, 2018 and December 1, 2020. Did. 2019-2020 grew at a faster rate than 2018-2019.

“These trends may reflect multiple demographic stressors in 2020, including economic strains related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the murder of George Floyd, and the fentanyl epidemic. Our analysis is causal. We weren’t dealing with relationships,” the researchers wrote.

This study analyzed only deaths from April to December each year, reflecting the start of the COVID quarantine in March 2020.

We found that 205 pregnant mothers died from drug-related causes in 2018, 246 in 2019, and 365 in 2020. The proportion of pregnant mothers who died from drug-related causes increased from 7.1 per 100,000 births in 2018 to 8.7 and 13.4 in 2019. 2020.

Pregnancy-related deaths from homicide were 89, 109, and 147, respectively, over the same three-year period. The rate of pregnant mothers who die from homicide has increased from 3.1 per 100,000 live births in 2018 to 3.8 in 2019 and 5.4 in 2020.

Over the same period, the study found a slight decrease in pregnancy-related deaths from suicide.

But after the pandemic-induced quarantine began in March 2020, many likely died from these three causes in the months after giving birth, as women ignored health checks. The study did not capture that number, the researchers said.

“Pregnancy is considered an opportunity for screening and prevention related to physical, mental and behavioral health, but our data show that hundreds of pregnant women missed out on such opportunities during the pandemic. suggests,” they wrote.

For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 Resources page.

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