Pregnancy-Associated Deaths from Homicide, Suicide, and Drug Overdose: Review of Research and the Intersection with Intimate Partner Violence

November 2, 2021 | By Jacquelyn Campbell, PhD, RN, FAAN, Sabrina Matoff-Stepp, PhD, Martha L. Velez, MD, Helen Hunter Cox, MHS, Kathryn Laughon, PhD, RN, FAAN

Journal of Women's Health

The leading causes of pregnancy-associated deaths, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are homicide, suicide, and drug overdose. Intimate partner violence during pregnancy has been shown to contribute to maternal mortality from pregnancy-associated deaths. In this article, we discuss these leading causes of pregnancy-associated deaths. We review the prevalence, demographic characteristics, and possible factors leading to each cause of death, as well as evidence-based methods of identification, prevention, and intervention. The review also will include data showing racial and ethnic inequities.

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