Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The leading cause of maternal deaths in the UK is still cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks, heart failure and heart rhythm problems, and there has been no reduction in maternal cardiovascular mortality rates for more than 15 years.

These are the main findings of a new report, Saving Lives, Improving Mothers’ Care, from the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit (NPEU), part of the Nuffield Department of Population Health (NDPH) at the University of Oxford.

The report is the latest produced for the Maternal, Newborn and Infant Clinical Outcome Review Programme, run by the MBRRACE-UK (Mothers and Babies: Reducing Risk through Audits and Confidential Enquiries across the UK) collaboration. The authors analysed 2.3m pregnancies from 2015-2017 in the UK and Ireland. During that three-year period, 209 women in the UK and Ireland died during their pregnancies or up to six weeks afterwards from pregnancy-related causes. This is equivalent to just over nine women per 100,000.

Of the women who died, 48, or 23%, died from heart disease, while 16% died from blood clots. A further 13% of women’s deaths were caused by epilepsy and stroke.

When the deaths were reviewed, the researchers found that many of the women who died from cardiovascular disease had classic symptoms that would have been flagged in a non-pregnant person, but instead were put down to their pregnancy. Three quarters of the women who died did not know they had heart disease before they became pregnant.

Read more (University of Oxford)

Similar stories

Risk of rare blood clotting higher for COVID-19 than for vaccines

Coronavirus COVID-19 Research

COVID-19 leads to a several-times higher risk of cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT) blood clots than current COVID-19 vaccines.

Alternating vaccines trial expands to include two additional vaccines

Clinical Trials Coronavirus COVID-19 General

Researchers running the Com-Cov study, launched in February to investigate alternating doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and the Pfizer vaccine, have today announced that the programme will be extended to include the Moderna and Novavax vaccines in a new study.

Oxford medical students launch flagship raffle in aid of NHS heroes and lifesaving medical equipment

General

Tingewick, a society formed of medical students from Oxford University, are hosting a virtual charity raffle. With over 70 amazing prizes, ranging from Truck festival tickets to restaurant vouchers to bags of books and even a bike, the raffle is an exciting way to celebrate lockdown lifting by supporting many wonderful Oxfordshire businesses whilst raising lots of money for charity.

Asthma drug budesonide shortens recovery time in non-hospitalised patients with COVID-19

Clinical Trials Coronavirus COVID-19 Research

Inhaled budesonide, a common corticosteroid, is the first widely available, inexpensive drug found to shorten recovery times in COVID-19 patients aged over 50 who are treated at home and in other community settings, reports the PRINCIPLE trial in 1,779 participants.

UK and EU regulators conclude benefits of vaccination continue to outweigh the risks

Coronavirus COVID-19 General

Today, the medical regulators in the UK and Europe have announced their conclusions from their reviews of very rare cases of unusual blood clots in people who have received the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine.

Link between COVID-19 infection and subsequent mental health and neurological conditions found

Coronavirus COVID-19 General Research

One in three COVID-19 survivors received a neurological or psychiatric diagnosis within six months of infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, an observational study of more than 230,000 patient health records published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal estimates. The study looked at 14 neurological and mental health disorders.