Lazariu, Victoria, Trang Nguyen, Louise-Anne McNutt*, Jillian Jeffrey, and Marilyn Kacica



Severe maternal morbidity conditions such as sepsis, embolism and cardiac arrest during the delivery hospitalization period can lead to extended length of hospital stays, life-long maternal health problems, and high medical costs. Most importantly, these conditions also contribute to the risk of maternal death. This population-based observational study proposed and evaluated the impact of expanding the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) measure of severe maternal morbidity by including additional comorbidities and intensive care admissions during delivery hospitalizations and examined associated factors. A New York State linked hospitalization and birth record database was used. Study participants included all New York State female residents, ages 10 to 55 years, who delivered a live infant in a New York acute care hospital between 2008 and 2013, inclusive. Incidence trends for both severe maternal morbidity measures were evaluated longitudinally. Associations between covariates and the two severe maternal morbidity measures were examined with logistic regression models, solved using generalized estimating equations and stratified by method of delivery. The New York expanded severe maternal morbidity measure identified 34,478 cases among 1,352,600 hospital deliveries (estimated incidence 2.55%) representing a 3% increase in the number of cases compared to the CDC measure. Both estimates increased over the study period (p<0.001). Covariates with an odds ratio > 1.5 included most measured comorbidities (e.g., pregnancy-induced hypertension, placentation disorder), multiple births, preterm birth, no prenatal care, hospitalization prior to delivery, higher levels of perinatal care birthing facilities and race/ethnicity. Expanding the measure for severe maternal morbidity during delivery to capture intensive care admissions provides a more sensitive estimate of disease burden. Perinatal regionalization in New York appears effective in routing high risk pregnancies to higher levels of perinatal care birthing facilities.

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* Denotes CSDA Associates, Affiliates, and Staff