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March 16, 1940


JAMA. 1940;114(11):960-961. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.62810110008010a

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The lowest maternal mortality rate ever recorded in the United States, 43.5 per 10,000 live births, has been reported by the United States Bureau of the Census for the year 1938. For the first time on record less than 10,000 (9,953) deaths were assigned to puerperal causes. The number of live births registered in 1938 was 2,286,962, a birth rate of 17.6 per thousand of population. This was a slight increase over 1937.

The maternal death rate for all causes decreased 11 per cent during the year 1938 (from 49 per 10,000 in 1937 to 43.5 per 10,000 in 1938). The combined rate for abortion and ectopic pregnancy decreased 16 per cent; the rate for puerperal sepsis, including phlegmasia alba dolens, and so on, decreased 12 per cent; the rate for all toxemias decreased 11 per cent, and the combined rate for puerperal hemorrhage and other accidents of childbirth decreased

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