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Australia continues to have one of the lowest maternal death
rates in the world, according to a report released today by the
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
The report, Maternal deaths in Australia 2003-2005,
shows that over the three years from 2003-2005, only 65 maternal
deaths occurred that were either directly or indirectly related to
the pregnancy or its management.
'This figure is less than the previous three year period
(2000-2002) in which 84 maternal deaths were reported,' said
Associate Professor Elizabeth Sullivan of the Institute's National
Perinatal Statistics Unit located at the University of New South
During the three-year period from 2003-2005, one woman died for
every 11,896 women giving birth, giving a maternal death ratio of
8.4 per 100,000 women.
'Although this rate compares favourably with the rates in other
developed countries, maternal death rates for Aboriginal or Torres
Strait Islander women are still more than two and a half times as
high as for other women,' Associate Professor King, Chair of the
National Advisory Committee Maternal Mortality said.
For Indigenous women, there were 21.5 deaths per 100,000 women
giving birth, versus 7.9 per 100,000 for non-Indigenous women.
'The fact that Indigenous mothers continue to experience a
higher rate of mortality than non-Indigenous women remains a
serious concern,' he said.
The leading causes of maternal deaths for all women continue to
be amniotic fluid embolism, thromboembolism and hypertension.
Cardiac disease, psychiatric related causes and haemorrhage were
the main indirect causes of maternal deaths.
Friday 2 May 2008
Further information: Associate Professor James
King, mob. 0419 720 281, or Associate Professor Elizabeth Sullivan,
tel. 02 9382 1014, mob. 0439 994 820.
For media copies of the report: Publications
Officer, AIHW, tel. 61 2 6244 1032.
Availability: Check the AIHW Publications
Catalogue for the availability of Maternal deaths in