Pregnant women in America die more often than in Iran

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NEW YORK. KAZINFORM - The human lifespan is increasing and disease is decreasing, but a new study reveals some unsettling setbacks, Bloomberg reports.

The rate at which American women are dying from causes related to pregnancy or childbirth is on par with Iran, China, and some nations that made up the Soviet bloc. The difference is that in those countries, the prognosis is for improvement. In America, it's not.

The disturbing trend is a counterpoint to global progress on healthy childbirth, according to a comprehensive new study. More than 275,000 women died worldwide last year in pregnancy, childbirth, or complications from it, most of the deaths preventable. In the U.S. these deaths have increased about 2.7 percent a year since 2000, to 26.4 deaths for every 100,000 live births, or 1,063 total, last year. (Iran has a lower rate and saw 281 maternal deaths in 2015).

This puts Americans in the same league as a handful of other developed nations that are also moving backwards, including Greece and Luxembourg.

Terrible as this is, there's plenty of good news in the 2015 Global Burden of Disease, Injuries, and Risk Factors study. The average human life span has increased by 10 years since 1980. A key driver has been decreased deaths from HIV/AIDS and malaria, which fell 33 percent and 37 percent respectively since 2005. And children are becoming less vulnerable to diseases that claim them before the age of five, as the world (despite a lack of progress on newborn mortality rates) halved the death rate of children younger than 5, to 5.8 million annually.

Children and women's health are just two elements of this encyclopedic scientific review that explains the prevalence of 249 causes of death and 315 diseases and injuries documented globally since 1980. The main study was published on Thursday in theLancet, with several thick accompanying analyses about women's health and childbirth, healthy life expectancy, behavioral and environmental risks, and child mortality.
The work was led by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington and included 1,870 researchers in 127 countries. It was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The numbers show where a world of improvement is needed. On top of its mom-care problem, the U.S. and many other nations face rising threats from drug abuse, obesity, and poor nutrition.

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