Women aged under 20 had the highest MMR, followed by those aged 40 or more (17.2 and 11.8 per 100,000 women giving birth). The lowest MMR was for women in the 20 to 24 age group, followed by women in the 30 to 34 age group (1.8 and 4.7 per 100,000 women giving birth respectively).
Maternal Indigenous status
The MMR for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women was 16.4 per 100,000 women giving birth. In the same period, the MMR for non-Indigenous women was 5.3 per 100,000 women giving birth.
Parity refers to a woman’s number of previous pregnancies, excluding the current pregnancy, carried to a viable gestational age (usually 20 weeks), resulting in a live birth or stillbirth. The rate of maternal death increased with parity, from an MMR of 4.8 and 4.3 per 100,000 women giving birth for women with a parity of none and 1 respectively, increasing up to 9.5 for women with a parity of 3 and 17.1 for women with a parity of 4 or more.
The rate of maternal deaths was higher in women who reported smoking during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy than in women who reported that they did not smoke during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy (15.6 compared to 3.5 per 100,000 women giving birth). As the number of maternal deaths with an unknown smoking status is relatively high (32% of data from included jurisdictions), caution should be used when interpreting these data.
Women who lived in Remote and very remote areas had the highest MMR, followed by women who lived in Inner regional areas (13.3 and 8.6 per 100,000 women giving birth). The lowest MMR was for women who lived in Major cities (5.3 per 100,000 women giving birth). The rate of maternal death in areas other than Major cities should be treated with caution due to the small numbers.
For more information on timing of characteristics women who died see National Maternal Mortality Data Collection annual update tables 4 to 8.
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