Achieving Maternal Health Equity

The Importance of the Social Determinants of Health

Katelyn Shahbazian,
Analyst, Modelo Health,
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

American maternal health is in a crisis

The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate out of any developed country in the world, despite having some of the highest spending in healthcare1. Even worse, the chances of dying while pregnant or within 1 year of giving birth is 2.5 times higher for Black women than for White women. While the US is exceeding expectations in other areas of health care, why is care for mothers falling behind? Why are there such high disparities between different groups?

Introducing: the social determinants of health

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