Maternal mortality in Taiwan: A nationwide data linkage study

Tung Pi Wu, Fu Wen Liang, Ya Li Huang, Lea Hua Chen, Tsung Hsueh Lu

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Background To examine the changes in the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) and causes of maternal death in Taiwan based on nationwide linked data sets. Methods We linked four population-based data sets (birth registration, birth notification, National Health Insurance inpatient claims, and cause of death mortality data) to identify maternal deaths for 2004-2011. Subsequently, we calculated the MMR (deaths per 100,000 live births) and the proportion of direct and indirect causes of maternal death by maternal age and year. Findings Based on the linked data sets, we identified 236 maternal death cases, of which only 102 were reported in officially published mortality data, with an underreporting rate of 57% [(236-102) × 100 / 236]. The age-adjusted MMR was 18.4 in 2004-2005 and decreased to 12.5 in 2008-2009; however, the MMR leveled off at 12.6 in 2010-2011. The MMR increased from 5.2 in 2008-2009 to 7.1 in 2010-2011 for patients aged 15-29 years. Women aged 15-29 years had relatively lower proportion in dying from direct causes (amniotic fluid embolism and obstetric hemorrhage) compared with their counterpart older women. Conclusions Approximately two-thirds ofmaternal deaths were not reported in officially published mortality data. Routine surveillance of maternal mortality by using enhanced methods is necessary to monitor the health status of reproductive-age women. Furthermore, a comprehensive maternal death review is necessary to explore the preventability of these maternal deaths.

Original languageEnglish
Article number132547
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 3 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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