Epidemiology of racial/ethnic disparities in severe maternal morbidity and mortality

Academic Article


  • The literature abounds with examples of racial/ethnic disparities in both obstetric outcomes and care. Disparities in maternal mortality are well documented with non-Hispanic blacks carrying the burden of the highest maternal mortality rates. Maternal deaths likely represent only the “tip of the iceberg” with respect to pregnancy complications, leading many to explore risk factors and disparities in severe maternal morbidity, a more common precursor to maternal mortality. This review article explores commonly cited indicators of severe maternal morbidity and includes a review of the epidemiological literature supporting or refuting disparities among each indicator.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Holdt Somer SJ; Sinkey RG; Bryant AS
  • Start Page

  • 258
  • End Page

  • 265
  • Volume

  • 41
  • Issue

  • 5