Maternal mortality in adolescents compared with women of other ages: evidence from 144 countries

Adolescents are often noted to have an increased risk of death during pregnancy or childbirth compared with older women, but the existing evidence is inconsistent and in many cases contradictory. This article aims to quantify the risk of maternal death in adolescents by estimating maternal mortality ratios for women aged 15—19 years by country, region, and worldwide, and to compare these ratios with those for women in other 5-year age groups -- using data from 144 countries and territories. Findings suggest that the excess mortality risk to adolescent mothers might be less than previously believed, and in most countries the adolescent maternal mortality ratio is low compared with women older than 30 years.

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