Jeremy Dennis is Jeremy Day (cleanskies) wrote,
Jeremy Dennis is Jeremy Day

maternal mortality largely caused by complex socioeconomic factors

I read the Guardian yesterday, and it contained some amazing stuff. A brilliant piece by Polly Toynbee on Sex Education, and why it's so important, for example. But there was also a piece called Obesity is an increasing risk in childbirth, report warns at which I snorted.

"Oh look! I said to Tim, "More than half the women who died in childbirth in the UK last year were obese or overweight! Well, 51% were. Well, half. It must have been that, then."

At which point I described a distribution curve in the air explaining why this might be the case.

We had a short argument about statistical validity after that, naturally, which ended up with me saying I probably needed to check the report -- which turns out to actually be called Saving Mothers Lives rather than "Diet or Die, ladies!", as you might have thought from yesterday's article.

Turns out, I wasn't the only one who read the articles and went "uhn", and there's already a brilliant piece out there, because ...

...thankfully, JunkFood science beat me to it. She also came up with a whole bunch of more relevant, striking and newsworthy headlines. Why not lead with:

"Black African women, including asylum seekers and newly arrived refugees, have a mortality rate nearly six times higher than White women,"

"Women with partners who were unemployed, many of whom had features of social exclusion, were up to seven times more likely to die than women with partners who were employed."

Percentages not high enough for you? Let's kick it up a notch:

"More than 80% of the women who died...did not seek care at all, booked late or failed to maintain regular contact with the maternity services, in the main because of fear that their unborn child might be removed at birth."

"Among all of the direct maternal deaths, 64% were among women having received substandard care"

The Guardian's article cruelly picks out a few illustrative examples to show why being morbidly obese and pregnant might be a bad idea (thanks for the heads up) but neglects to mention the woman who was sent home with her severe leg pain and breathlessness attributed to her obesity; and the deaths from FGM complications were quietly dropped as -- what? Too shocking? Not relevant enough?

Perhaps the person who wrote the article hadn't read the report, only an obesity-scare press release from a pressure group. Perhaps they just ran the obesity-scare press release from a pressure group as it arrived.

Either way, I stand by my dismissive hand gesture.

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