Maternal Mortality Correlates by Nation


Background: This study reports the results of a secondary analysis of data provided by the World Health Organization to determine the correlates of maternal mortality among all reporting nations worldwide. Historically, maternal mortality ratios have declined in nations that provided a system for access to skilled care for the majority of its women. Currently, maternal mortality ratios are associated with access to skilled care as well as economic indicators, literacy, education, access to contraceptives, transportation and HIV prevalence. Methods: Descriptive statistics, bi-variate correlations and multiple linear regression analyses are reported using maternal mortality ratios as the dependent variable. In addition, an examination of countries that are exceptions to the regression is also reported. Results: Strong positive Pearson two-tailed correlations were found between MMR and infant mortality rate (0.866), total fertility rate (0.854), poverty rate (0.756), and adolescent fertility rate (0.710). Strong negative correlations were found between MMR and percentage of births attended by a skilled attendant (-0.786), percentage of women using contraceptives (-0.786), and adult literacy rate (-0.710). Eighty-one percent of the variation in MMR can be explained by differences in IMR, percent of births attended by a skilled provider, percent of women using contraceptive, total fertility rate, adolescent fertility rate, adult literacy rate and poverty. Discussion: Examination of the correlates of maternal mortality gives direction to the effort to achieve the WHO’s Millennium Development Goal of reducing maternal mortality by two-thirds from 1995-2015.

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Piane, G. (2014) Maternal Mortality Correlates by Nation. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, 4, 751-759. doi: 10.4236/ojpm.2014.410085.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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