Most pregnant individuals who died of suicide or overdose in one state sample had a diagnosis of a mental health or substance use condition, but few received adequate treatment prior to death. It was—research suggests.
Researchers at Michigan Medicine analyzed 237 maternal deaths from suicide or overdose that occurred in Michigan between 2008 and 2018 and found that more than two-thirds of cases had documented behavioral health problems. I’ve found that it has to do with the state.
However, only one-third of these patients were taking psychotropic medications such as antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs and mood stabilizers before death.
Similarly, substance use was documented in more than two-thirds of people who died from a substance overdose. Less than a third of these patients were being treated with medications such as suboxones to help combat opioid addiction.
“While it is alarming to see that the majority of these maternal deaths are related to documented mental health and substance use conditions, a significant number of them experience relief from symptoms and health benefits. had not received pharmacological treatment to improve their Joanna Kuntanis, M.D.., Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, University of Michigan School of Medicine. “These findings suggest an urgent need to implement effective strategies across multiple disciplines to address the health-related relationship between pregnancy and behavioral problems.”
Most deaths occurred within 3 months postpartum, but more than half of all deaths occurred between 4 and 12 months postpartum. According to the survey results of American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology – Maternal-Fetal Medicine.
“The late postpartum period may be a time of increased vulnerability as obstetric and pediatric appointments are less frequent,” said Kountanis.
Prescription opioids were the most common substances found in postmortem toxicology reports, and nearly half of these patients had physician-prescribed opioids. Of the substance overdose deaths, 42.9% were prescribed opioids, 44.3% were prescribed benzodiazepines, and 32.5% were prescribed both.
This retrospective study included a secondary review of deceased patient records over 10 years through the Michigan Maternal Mortality Surveillance Program at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Researchers reviewed pregnancy-related and pregnancy-related deaths.
Recent reports indicate that maternal deaths related to suicide and overdose are on the rise and may be a major contributor to maternal mortality in the first year postpartum.
“We know that untreated drug use and mental health conditions can seriously endanger a person’s life during and after pregnancy,” the co-authors said. Lindsay Admon, MD, M.Sc.researcher and obstetrician University of Michigan Health von Voitlander Women’s Hospitalof Michigan Medicine.
“Increased demand and barriers to behavioral health care during the pandemic may mean that even fewer women and pregnant women are receiving the care they need to ‘solve’ the maternal health crisis.” In addition, there is an urgent need to address and prioritize access to behavioral health care for individuals during pregnancy and postpartum. ”
Additional authors include Mary Roberts, MD, DFAPA. Roger Smith, MD. Alison Cropsey, BS, Melissa E. Bauer, DO
Cited studies: “Maternal deaths from suicide and overdose in Michigan, 2008-2018.” American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology – Maternal-Fetal Medicine. DOI: 10.1016/j.ajogmf.2022.100811