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June 10, 1939


Author Affiliations


From the Children's Bureau, United States Department of Labor.

JAMA. 1939;112(23):2391-2393. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800230015005

Recent mortality reports seem to indicate that the intensive efforts by practicing physicians, local, state and federal health agencies and a great many lay groups to reduce the number of unnecessary maternal deaths in the United States are beginning to show their effects. Official statistics of the Bureau of the Census for the year 1937 give a maternal mortality rate of 49 per 10,000 live births. This rate is 14 per cent lower than the rate for 1936 (57), which was the previous low rate for the United States. If the maternal mortality rate for 1937 had remained the same as in 1936 there would have been 1,746 more maternal deaths in 1937 than actually occurred. This decrease in maternal mortality in 1937 is especially significant, since the death rate among women of child-bearing ages (from 15 to 49 years of age) from all other causes decreased by only 4