How Death Data Messed With Texas

Texas made national news for its shocking maternal mortality numbers in 2012, but as it turns out, those numbers were flawed.

A study by the Texas Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force, published this week in Obstetrics & Gynecology, found that over half of deaths recorded as pregnancy-related were miscategorized. After cross-referencing public records, the stats were corrected from 38.4 deaths per 100,000 live births to 14.6 per 100,000 live births.

An error-prone check-box system on death certificates may be to blame, but the study also reveals “the nature and magnitude of errors in Texas’ vital statistics data,” writes Marian MacDorman in an editorial.

The Washington Post

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