SMFM Special Report: Putting the “M” back in MFM: Reducing racial and ethnic disparities in maternal morbidity and mortality: A call to action

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Abstract

Racial and ethnic disparities in maternal morbidity and mortality rates are an important public health problem in the United States. Because racial and ethnic minorities are expected to comprise more than one-half of the US population by 2050, this issue needs to be addressed urgently. Research suggests that the drivers of health disparities occur at 3 levels: patient, provider, and system. Although we have recognized this issue and identified elements that contribute to it, knowledge must be converted into action to address it. In addition, despite available funding and databases, research directed towards understanding and reducing these disparities is lacking. This document summarizes findings of a workshop convened at the 2016 Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine’s 36th Annual Pregnancy meeting in Atlanta, GA, to review and make recommendations about immediate actions in clinical care and research that will serve to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in maternal morbidity and mortality rates in the United States.

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